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Work from Home Tax Relief – A Comprehensive Guide

Over the past few years, there has been a significant shift in working patterns, largely driven by the global pandemic. Many employees have transitioned from traditional office environments to working remotely from the comfort of their own homes. This evolution has not only transformed our daily routines but also introduced new financial considerations, one of which is the concept of tax relief for working from home. This article explains work from home tax relief.

The UK government acknowledges that working from home often comes with additional costs such as heating, electricity, and internet usage. To help offset these expenses, they’ve established the working from home tax relief scheme. This relief can provide a useful financial boost to those adapting to the remote working lifestyle, but it remains a subject that many are not fully aware of or don’t fully understand.

That’s why, in this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into the nuances of employee tax relief for working from home, discussing who’s eligible, what it covers, and, importantly, how to claim it from your employer.

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The Basics of Working from Home Tax Relief

The work from home tax relief, also known as home office allowance, is a form of financial relief that can be claimed by UK employees who work from home. This scheme has been implemented by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as a way of assisting remote workers in managing the additional costs associated with working from home.

The basic principle is simple: if you work from home and incur additional household costs as a result, the government offers a tax break to help offset these expenses. These expenses could include a wide range of costs, such as heating, electricity, or increased broadband usage. Essentially, the tax relief helps to alleviate some of the financial pressure of maintaining a conducive working environment at home.

So, what tax relief is available for employees working from home? As of the current tax year, you can claim tax relief on £6 per week, or £26 per month, without needing to provide evidence of the extra costs. This is the flat rate, meaning that it doesn’t change regardless of the number of hours you work from home each week. It’s also important to note that you’re not receiving £6 per week in your pocket, but rather the amount of tax you would have paid on that income. For example, if you pay tax at a rate of 20%, you could gain £1.20 per week, which amounts to approximately £62.40 per year.

Remember, the key criterion for eligibility is that you must have additional costs because of working from home. Therefore, if you’re only working from home occasionally or don’t have any additional costs, you may not be eligible for this tax relief.

Eligibility Criteria for Working from Home Tax Relief

To be eligible for the working from home tax relief, there are certain conditions that you must meet. Firstly, you must be an employee who has been asked to work from home by your employer to carry out duties that you have to do for your work. This means that you cannot claim this tax relief if you choose to work from home voluntarily.

Furthermore, you must have incurred extra costs as a result of working from home. These costs could include heating, metered water bills, home contents insurance, business calls or a new broadband connection. They do not include costs that would stay the same whether you were working at home or in an office, such as mortgage interest, rent or council tax.

It’s also worth noting that the tax relief applies to each tax year. This means if you’ve been working from home due to the pandemic, you can make backdated claims for previous tax years where you’ve also worked from home. The current tax year in the UK runs from 6th April one year to 5th April the following year. If your work from home situation changes partway through a tax year, you can still make a claim for the weeks you worked at home.

For example, if you began working from home in January 2023 and continued to do so until the end of the current tax year in April 2023, you would be eligible to claim tax relief for that period. And if you’re still working from home into the next tax year, you can make another claim for that period too.

Remember that the rules around tax relief, including home allowance and work area, can be complex. It’s always worth seeking professional advice if you’re unsure about your eligibility or how to claim. This can ensure you receive all the tax relief you’re entitled to, without falling foul of HMRC rules.

How to Claim Working from Home Tax Relief

Claiming your working from home tax relief can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In the UK, you can make your claim in a few different ways:

Through Your Employer

Some employers can pay you an allowance of £6 a week (or £26 a month for monthly paid employees) tax-free to cover your additional costs if you must work from home. This amount doesn’t require any receipts or proof of the additional expenditure.

Through HMRC

If your employer doesn’t offer this allowance, you can still apply directly to HMRC. The simplest way to do this is through the Government’s online portal. This method is relatively straightforward and can be completed in a few minutes.

To start your claim, you will need your Government Gateway user ID and password. If you don’t have a user ID, you can create one when you claim. The online tool will then guide you through the process, and if your claim is approved, HMRC will adjust your tax code, so you pay less tax over the year.

Via Self-Assessment Tax Return

If you usually send a self-assessment tax return, you can claim this way as well. You’ll need to fill in the ’employment’ section of the return and state how many weeks you’ve worked from home and the amount you’re claiming.

It’s also essential to understand that you can make backdated claims for previous tax years where you’ve also worked from home due to the pandemic. The process for backdated claims is similar, but make sure you’re clear about which tax year each claim relates to.

Remember that each tax year needs a separate claim because the relief isn’t carried forward each year automatically. If you’ve been working from home during the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 tax years, for example, you’d need to make two claims: one for each tax year.

As always, when dealing with tax matters, ensure that you keep records and receipts for your home allowance as required. If you’re unsure about anything regarding your home allowance, it’s worth seeking professional advice to ensure you correctly navigate the process.

Stay tuned for the FAQ section at the end of this article, where we will address some of the most commonly asked questions about working from home tax relief. If you’re facing any difficulties with your debt or financial situation, our team at Become Debt Free can provide help and guidance. As licensed insolvency practitioners, we offer professional advice to help individuals manage their debts effectively through an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). You can contact us on 0800 169 1536 or leave an enquiry on our website.

The Additional Household Costs Covered

When we talk about ‘extra costs’ in the context of working from home tax relief, we refer to the additional household expenses that arise from the need to perform your duties from your home. Some of these additional costs could include:


If you’re working from home, especially during the colder months, you may find your heating is on more frequently than it would have been if you were in the office.


Similar to heating, if you’re using your computer, lights, and other electronic devices more than usual, you may be eligible for a home allowance or home tax rebate through the tax relief programme. Additionally, it’s important to review your tax code to ensure you’re taking advantage of any available deductions. This way, you can offset the increase in your electricity bill.


Although you can’t claim the entire broadband bill for your home allowance because it’s a service used by the entire household, if you’ve had to upgrade your broadband package specifically because of work, the additional cost could be factored into your tax rebate claim.

However, it’s important to note that tax relief doesn’t cover all expenses. Some of the exclusions include:

  • Rent or Mortgage payments: The cost of rent or mortgage payments can’t be claimed. These are considered fixed costs and would be the same whether you’re working from home or not.
  • Council Tax: Council tax is another cost that is fixed and therefore not claimable.
  • Water Bills: Usually, water bills aren’t significantly affected by working from home, so they’re generally not included in the claim.

Remember, the tax relief programme is designed to provide a little financial help with the extra costs that working from home can bring, not to cover all household expenses.

If you’re unsure what costs you can and can’t include in your claim, or if you need any financial assistance, feel free to contact our team at Become Debt Free. As licensed insolvency practitioners, we offer professional advice to help you manage your financial situation. Call us on 0800 169 1536 or leave an enquiry on our website.

Real-Life Scenarios and Examples

Understanding tax relief for working from home can sometimes be a bit challenging, so let’s consider a few examples to shed light on the process and its impact on individual finances:

Example 1: Temporary Work from Home due to the Pandemic

Let’s consider the case of Sarah. She started working from home in April 2022, right at the beginning of the tax year, due to the pandemic. She was employed full-time, and this was the first time she had to work from home. Sarah can claim tax relief for the entire tax year at the flat rate of £6 per week, even if she returned to the office in July 2023. This means she could claim a total of £312 (£6 x 52 weeks) for the tax year. Depending on the rate of Income Tax she pays, she would get either £62.40 (if she pays 20% tax) or £124.80 (if she pays 40% tax) off her tax bill for that year.

Please note, this example is provided for informational purposes only, reflecting a situation when the pandemic was active. With the pandemic now over, current conditions may differ. Always refer to the latest government guidelines when making a claim.

Example 2: Permanent Work from Home

John, on the other hand, has been working from home permanently for the past few years. He has a separate office set up at home where he works. John can claim tax relief on the additional costs of working from home, such as heating and electricity. However, he would need to work out the exact amount and keep evidence of these costs. If he cannot figure out the exact amount, he can still claim the flat rate of £6 per week without having to provide evidence.

Example 3: Part-Time Work from Home

Emma works from home two days a week and spends the other three in the office. She can still claim tax relief, but only for the days she works from home. Like Sarah and John, Emma can claim at the flat rate of £6 per week without having to provide evidence of the extra costs. However, unlike Sarah, Emma can’t claim for the entire week, only for the days she works from home.

These examples highlight the importance of understanding your working arrangements and how they affect your eligibility for tax relief. If you’re unsure about how much you could claim, it may be worthwhile seeking professional advice.

Feel free to contact us at Become Debt Free. As licensed insolvency practitioners, we can provide advice and help you understand your financial situation. Call us on 0800 169 1536 or leave an enquiry on our website.


Can I claim working from home tax relief if I’m part-time?

Yes, part-time employees are eligible to claim working from home tax relief. You can claim tax relief on the days you’re required to work from home.

What if I’ve been working from home only because of the pandemic, can I still claim tax relief?

Yes, HMRC has confirmed that employees working from home due to the pandemic can claim tax relief for the entire tax year, provided they’ve incurred extra costs related to their work.

Do I need to provide evidence of additional costs when claiming tax relief?

If you claim tax relief based on the flat rate (£6 per week), you don’t need to provide any evidence. However, if you want to claim more than this amount, you’ll need to provide evidence of these costs.

Can I claim tax relief if I occasionally work from home?

You can only claim tax relief if you work from home regularly. This does not necessarily mean you need to work from home full time, but your home must be a place where you regularly carry out your duties.

Can I claim tax relief for the previous tax years?

Yes, tax relief claims can be backdated for up to four previous tax years. To do this, you will need to write to HMRC and provide necessary evidence.

Can I claim for other expenses, like office furniture or a coffee machine?

No, the tax relief does not cover items that would have been used for both private and work purposes. It is primarily intended to cover additional household costs like heating and electricity.

What if my employer has given me a lump sum or reimbursed me for my expenses, can I still claim?

If your employer has reimbursed you or given you an allowance to cover your additional costs, you cannot receive tax relief.

Remember, if you need help managing your debts or understanding your financial situation, don’t hesitate to contact us at Become Debt Free. Call us at 0800 169 1536 or submit an enquiry through our website. As licensed insolvency practitioners, we can help you navigate your financial worries and move towards a debt-free future.


Working from home has become a norm for many of us. With this change comes the potential to claim tax relief for increased costs we’ve incurred. In this article, we have provided an overview of the working from home tax relief available in the UK, who is eligible for it, and how to claim it. Remember that this is applicable even if you work from home part-time or due to the pandemic. Be sure to understand the difference between the flat rate method and actual cost method, and how to claim for the different tax years.

However, navigating the world of tax can sometimes be complex. If you’re unsure or need any further advice, it might be helpful to seek professional advice. Financial well-being can have a huge impact on our lives, and it’s important to manage it effectively. If you’re struggling with debts, contact us at Become Debt Free on 0800 169 1536 or leave an enquiry on our website. As Licensed insolvency practitioners, we’re here to help you take control of your financial situation.

Need Help Managing Your Debts? Become Debt Free is Here for You

In our journey through life, we often encounter financial hurdles that seem insurmountable. But remember, no situation is hopeless. If you’re grappling with the burden of debt and it’s causing you sleepless nights, there’s help available.

At Become Debt Free, we specialise in guiding individuals just like you towards a brighter, debt-free future. As Licensed Insolvency Practitioners, we have a wealth of experience and expertise at our disposal to help you navigate your financial challenges.

Whether it’s advice on claiming tax relief for working from home or providing comprehensive strategies through an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), we’re ready and equipped to support you every step of the way.

Don’t let the pressure of debts overwhelm you. Reach out to us today at 0800 169 1536, or submit an enquiry on our website. It’s time to reclaim your peace of mind. Together, we can pave your way to becoming debt-free.


The primary sources for this article are listed below.

Claim tax relief for your job expenses: Working from home – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Details of our standards for producing accurate, unbiased content can be found in our editorial policy here.

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