Speaking to viewers of a special edition of the ITV Martin Lewis Money Show, the presenter of Money Saving Expert pointed out that there was in fact an allowance to cover the increase in your bills resulting from spending all your time at home.
As the Mirror reports, figuring out exactly how much extra you spend on your bills and other costs isn’t exactly easy – so there is a simple limit where no questions are asked.
“Your employer is allowed to pay you £ 6 a month tax free if they are forced to work from home,” said Martin.
You can ask for more if it costs you more, but it takes a lot more manpower.
But you don’t have to go to your employer to get the money.
“You can now claim it from the HMRC,” he added.
Martin explained how to claim in detail in a blog post.
“If your employer will not pay your expenses because of the homework required, but you have them, you can request that the amount be deducted from your taxable income,” wrote Martin.
“To make the process easier, HMRC says that claims in line with employers’ payment (i.e. for £ 6 per week) will not need to justify this figure – which means that you will not have no need to keep receipts or prove information. “
It’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s better than nothing.
“The impact of a claim of £ 6 per week is tax savings, which is a gain of £ 1.20 per week (around £ 62 per year) for taxpayers at the base rate of 20%, and £ 2.40 a week (around £ 124 a year) for taxpayers at the 40% higher rate. ”
If you have higher costs, you can claim more, but you need evidence of increased costs.
There are two main ways to get it.
“If you normally do a self-assessment form, you can claim it,” wrote Martin.
“Yet, for most people, this will simply require filling out a P87 form. “
Martin said you can do it online with a P87 form using your Government Gateway account or by filling out a P87 mail form.
“You will be asked for the name of your employer and the PAYE reference (which you can find on your pay slip or P60), and your job title,” said Martin.
“For postal P87s, you will also need your national insurance number. “
He said the key thing was the “Use your home as an office” section.
For the online form, Martin said that it is easier to put £ 6 for each week spent at home in the “amount you paid” section and € 0 in the “amount paid to you by your employer ”if they haven’t raised your wages.
If you are making a request using the postal form, you must manually add an expense “use your home as an office” in the “Other expenses” section.
“Once you have submitted the claim, if you do it online, you might hear in a few weeks. However, of course, if the HMRC is under pressure, it may take longer, “said Martin.