Businesses need to be aware of important changes to the £6-a-week ‘working from home’ tax concession introduced during Covid-19.
For the 2021-22 tax year, HMRC introduced a tax-free allowance of £6 per week for all employees required to work from home – including directors – to claim towards additional household costs.
Now the pandemic is over, HMRC has updated the rules and this special allowance for all employees and directors came to an end on 5 April 2022.
When you can you claim?
From 6 April 2022, the £6 a week can only be claimed if your job requires you to live far away from your office or if your employer does not have an office.
But you cannot claim tax relief if your employment contract lets you work from home some or all of the time, nor if you are working from home because of Covid-19.
You also cannot claim the allowance if your employer has an office, but you cannot go there sometimes because it is full.
With lots of people still working from home, businesses need to make sure that they have picked up on these changes as directors or staff might still be claiming for a concession that is no longer available.
All this sounds detailed, but it is important as there was, in effect, a ‘blanket’ allowance that everyone working from home could claim in the 2021-22 tax year, and that is now over.
What else can you claim for
Staff and directors can still claim for business phone calls made from home, and for any gas and electricity used in a work area they are using in the home.
However it is important to note claims are not allowed for services that are used for both private and business purposes, such as rent or broadband access.
The HMRC’s full guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home