Martin Lewis has explained how self-isolating Brits can claim £125 back in tax if they’ve been forced to work from home.
In the latest MoneySavingExpert newsletter, the money guru said HMRC has confirmed to him that claims can be made in these circumstances if you’ve been “pinged” by NHS Test and Trace.
If you’re eligible, your tax code is adjusted – rather than you being given the cash up front – so you're not paying as much tax.
The money is designed to cover the expense of working from home, for example, higher energy bills because you’re home during the day.
Workers must stay home if they're been pinged by the NHS app
(Image: Getty Images)
You can make a claim for tax back if you’ve worked at home for even just one day, and claims can be backdated.
Martin said: "HMRC has specifically confirmed to me that claims from employees working at home due to coronavirus measures, if their usual workplace is closed, count for this relief.
"The same also applies if you have to work from home because you've been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or because you're self-isolating having been pinged by the NHS app."
HMRC received more than 3 million claims for the tax relief for the 2020/21 tax year.
How to claim back tax if you've worked from home
The reduction to your tax bill is applied for the whole tax year – even if you've only worked from home for just one day.
To be eligible, your boss must have required you to work from home, meaning millions of people are likely to be entitled to tax back.
Martin has now confirmed that those who are "pinged" and self-isolating can claim too under these circumstances.
How much you'll get off depends on the rate of tax you pay.
For example, if an employed worker pays the 20% basic rate of tax and claims tax relief on £6 a week, they would receive £1.20 a week in tax relief (20% of £6 a week) towards the cost of their household bills.
This would be the case for most workers in the UK. You can claim £2.40 a week if you pay the higher 40% tax rate.
Workers can find out more and make a claim at gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home.
To claim the money, you'll need a Government Gateway user ID and password.
If you don't already have one, creating a Government Gateway ID usually takes about 10 minutes. It works best if you have:
- Your National Insurance number
- A recent payslip or P60 or a valid UK passport
You'll then receive the tax relief directly through your salary.
You can claim up to £125 per year and with the option to backdate claims by up to four years, this means you could get up to £500 in total.
This is crucial to remember for those who worked from home last year and haven't claimed yet – if this is you, you could claim back £250.