If you receive no compensation from your employer, you can still claim tax relief for certain costs that arise when working from home. HMRC will usually allow you to claim tax relief if you use your own money for things that you must buy for your job, and you only use these items for work. You must make a claim within four years of the end of the tax year that you spent the money.
Costs you may be able to claim for include:
- if you purchase your own uniforms, work clothing and tools for work;
- the cost of repairing or replacing small tools you need to do your job as an employee (for example, scissors or an electric drill); and
- cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a uniform or safety boots).
A claim for valid purchases can be made to recover actual costs or as a ‘flat rate deduction’. However, you cannot make a claim for relief on the initial cost of buying small tools or clothing for work.
You may also be able to claim tax relief for using your own vehicle, be it a car, van, motorcycle or bike. As a general rule, there is no tax relief for ordinary commuting to and from your work. The rules are different for temporary workplaces where the expense is usually allowable. You should also be able to claim if you use your own vehicle to undertake other business-related mileage.
Please note, if you have agreed with your employer to work at home voluntarily, or if you choose to work at home, you cannot claim tax relief on the bills you have to pay. If you previously claimed tax relief when you worked from home because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you may no longer be eligible for relief.