If you’re wondering what expenses can I claim for working from home, Martin Lewis has a top tip.
On a Coronavirus special of The Martin Lewis Money Show last night, the saving guru revealed his top tip to get help towards your energy bills at this time.
‘If you’re required to work at home, you’ve had extra expenses, heating and energy on the back of that,’ he said. ‘Of course, right now, lots of you are required to work at home, millions, because of the coronavirus outbreak.’
What expenses can I claim for working from home?
‘Your employer is allowed to pay you £6 a month tax-free,’ he explained. ‘That £6 is from the new tax year Monday. It is currently £4. But I’ll go with the £6 figure.’
‘Now they can do that, but asking your employer for extra money at the moment is probably not the best idea for most firms,’ he advised.
Instead, Martin explained that you can claim tax relief from HMRC. ‘You can claim relief on the £6 allowance from HMRC with works out for a basic rate taxpayer a week, £1.20 for a week. For a high rate taxpayer £2.40 a week,’ he explains.
‘To do this you need to fill in your P87 form, but you want to fill this in once you go back to work,’ he adds. ‘So it’s just one to be aware of.’
You can fill out an online P87 form through your Government Gateway account or filling out a postal form. You will need your employer’s name PAYE reference and National Insurance number to fill out the form.
The key section to fill out is ‘using your home as an office’. Martin provides more tips on how to fill out the form on his Money Saving Expert blog.
But why can you only claim £6?
‘The reason for the £6 flat rate is that’s the amount that you don’t need to prove. You don’t need a receipt,’ Martin explains.’If you’re going to claim more you’re going to need to prove how much it cost you. Keep all the receipts and apportion it, but that is a bit more complex.’
On the Money Saving Expert website, Martin says: ‘HMRC says it will consider claims from employees working at home due to coronavirus measures if their usual workplace is closed.’
However, he is unsure how it will work out in practice as HMRC is under a lot of pressure. Still, he urges anyone working from home to try.