30 Oct Guiding your employees through tax relief on WFH expenses
If you’re a small business owner whose staff have gone remote due to the pandemic, then no doubt you’ve already had to navigate the pitfalls of ensuring they’re set up to work and stay in touch.
Or maybe you are a consultant or sole trader who usually works out of other businesses and have found yourself having to provide your own office space.
Regardless of your situation, if you manage your own books and accounts, then the rise of employees needing to invest in and utilise their own equipment and resources has likely added another burden to your working day.
Working from home expenses tax relief
From the 6th April, employers have had the option to pay staff up to £6 a week, free of tax, to cover the unprecedented costs of working from home.
If you are an employer, then you should send a copy of the working expenses form to your staff, or let them know that they can go direct to the new HM Revenue and Customs portal themselves.
Such is the demand of staff making claims that, according to HMRC, in just 11 days 54,800 people filed for tax relief related to working from home expenses.
What can be claimed for?
With many employees struggling to get to grips with what they can claim and how they are reimbursed for purchases by you, you might be inundated with questions. Here is a basic overview:
• Computer and other office equipment such as phones, desks and chairs
• Additional household costs such as business calls and broadband, water and heating, contents insurance
• Company vehicle mileage costs
• Cleaning, repair and replacement of uniforms and work tools
• Travel expenses and overnight accommodation
• Professional membership fees and subscriptions not already paid by the employer
For full information, you can direct staff to the Gov.uk page. Remember that your employees or yourself cannot claim working from home expenses tax relief if you choose to work from home. They also can’t claim for PPE, this will need to be provided or reimbursed by you, the employer.
Although HMRC has tried to make it easier for you to guide your employees – or yourself – through working from home expenses, you might find yourself floundering. When you partner with a small business accounting team like SQK Accounting, we can help field these queries and assist with filing your own tax relief claim for expenses. To find out more, get in touch.