Just as we felt as though we were finally returning to some semblance of normality, we’ve been hit with the news that we are, without doubt, heading towards a second wave of Covid-19 infection and we must revert to a number of previously relaxed measures in an attempt to suppress the virus.
After 2 months of being encouraged to return to the workplace, it appears we have now come full circle and are, once again, under instruction to work from home where possible…
If you worked from home previously, you would have no doubt identified some very clear monetary benefits, such as saving money on lunches, fuel, parking, car insurance, or public transport. However, there’s always a downside…! You are inevitably, particularly as we enter into the colder and darker months, going to experience an increase in your utility bills. To help with these expenses, many employers provide their staff with a small, tax free allowance to cover these costs, however, if they don’t, did you know you can claim a reduction in taxes as a contribution towards the associated costs?
How Do I Claim My Working From Home Allowance?
As mentioned above, employers can opt pay you an extra £6/week, tax free, to help towards the rise in your gas and electricity costs. However, it is not obligatory and so, with many firms struggling, it can understandably feel like a difficult time to approach them and make this request.
There is a second option – Instead of asking for the contribution directly from your employer, HMRC will allow you to claim tax relief on £6/week of expenses. As it would be extremely tricky to prove how much extra gas and electricity you consume as a result of working from home, they will allow you to claim this amount without providing any evidence. Claims can be made via the link below.
It is worth noting that the above only applies to employees who are obliged to work from home on a regular basis and not to those who make the choice to do so. Informal working from home arrangements, for example, taking incomplete work home in the evenings, also do not qualify.
You should also remember that you cannot claim both working from home allowance from your employer AND tax relief – It is strictly one or the other.
My Expenses Have Increased In Excess of £6/Week
If you believe your expenditure has increased over and above £6/week, it is possible to make a claim for more than this, however, you will be required to provide paperwork to support your claim.
You should bear in mind that the £6/week allowance or tax relief, is not only there to cover the increased costs of your utility bills, but is also designed to act as a contribution towards any additional insurance required, increased metered water usage and extra telephone or internet charges.
How Else Can I Save Money On My Bills?
If you’re working from home and, as is the case with a lot of people, it’s looking unlikely to change in the near future, then now more than ever, you should ensure you are on the best suited tariff for your circumstances.
Comparing energy suppliers only takes around 5 minutes and is still one of the most effective ways to save money on your utility bills. And, there’s no need to worry, if you do decide to switch supplier, the move will be handled by the new supplier, without any loss to service, so your work will not be affected.