Employees can get tax relief if they have to work from home due to the shutdown of the coronavirus to help cover the costs of rising energy bills.
In his latest blog post, Martin Lewis reveals that homeworkers can claim a rate of £ 6 per week of tax to cover additional costs, such as heating and electricity.
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The rules are not new and apply only to staff whose employers require that they not come to the office, not to those who simply choose to do so.
Millions of workers have been ordered to stay at home as much as possible, as businesses abide by the government’s ban on all non-essential travel.
There are a number of programs open to those struggling to pay their energy bills and ways to cut your consumption to cut costs.
In addition to these measures, employees can request tax relief.
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Currently, they are entitled to claim a tax rate of £ 4 per week, but this figure increases to £ 6 per week from April 6.
According to the money guru, there are two ways to get the money back.
One option is for your employer to pay you the additional costs at a rate of £ 6, tax free in addition to your salary.
But this might not be possible at a time when many employers find it difficult to stay afloat during the lockout.
The second option is to ask HMRC to have the relief deducted from your taxable income.
You will not need to provide larger invoice receipts if the amount you are requesting is at a rate of £ 6 per week.
The exact amount you will recover depends on the tax rate you are.
Thus, a taxpayer at the base rate in the 20% tax bracket can recover £ 1.20 per week, which is equivalent to around £ 62 per year.
For higher taxpayers who pay a 40% rate, the savings are worth £ 2.40 a week or £ 124 a year.
What to do if you can’t pay your bills
FALLING on your energy bills can be extremely stressful.
If you are having trouble paying what you owe, contact your supplier as soon as possible.
Your supplier should help you find a solution and you should be able to negotiate an agreement that works for both of you.
One option is to agree on a payment plan where you pay off your debts in affordable installments.
You may be able to pay off your debts directly from your benefits through the Fuel Direct program.
A fixed amount will be automatically charged to cover what you owe plus your use.
To be eligible, you must benefit from one of the following advantages:
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income support
- employment and income support allowance
- Pension credit
- Universal credit (but only if you are not working)
If you cannot reach an agreement with your supplier, he may try to force you to install a prepayment meter.
In very rare cases, where you refuse to negotiate, your supplier may threaten to disconnect you.
If your costs are higher, you can ask for more, but it is a little more complicated since you will have to provide evidence of your increased costs, such as paid invoices.
You can request the repair on your self-assessment form or by filling out a P87 form online.
You will need to provide some details, such as your employer’s name and the PAYE reference, which can be found on your pay slip and job title.
Make sure you complete the “Using your home as an office” section, putting the total amount you are claiming in the “Amount paid by you” box.
Put zero in the box “Amount paid to you by your employer” if he has not paid you the allowance or reimbursed the non-taxable amount.
If your employer is able to pay the additional costs, swap the numbers around each box.
If you cannot complete the form online, you can request a postal form.
You will need to include your national insurance number and manually add a “Use your home as an office” section in the “Other expenses” box.
Martin points out that you can claim the expenses retrospectively.
He said, “So if you’re only at home because of a coronavirus, it’s best to wait until you go back to work (or a few months anyway), and then do the claim in one go.
“Your tax code will probably be adjusted so that you pay less tax in the year, instead of being reimbursed directly. “
Usually it takes about two weeks for the HMRC to contact you, but as the department is in high demand right now, you should expect a delay.
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