Since April 2020 employers have been allowed to pay up to £6 a week to employees 'tax-free' as a working from home tax relief, without needing evidence.
Normally evidence is required to prove the cost of working from home (people have been able to claim home working costs since 2003), but due to the pandemic this was waived for costs of up to £6 per week.
The payment is equivalent to the max amount of tax relief at the employees tax rate. So, on £312 a year this is £62.40 for basic rate taxpayers and £124.80 for higher rate taxpayers. These figures will differ for people under Scotland's tax rules and top rate taxpayers.
If an employer has not paid the payment directly to an employee, the employee can claim online from HMRC directly. The online system will alter the employee's tax code to reduce the amount of tax they pay on their work income by the amounts mentioned above - this adjusts their personal allowance to increase the tax-free amount.
Employees can make claims for the 2021/2022 tax year right now, and if they didn't claim for the previous tax year 2020/2021, they can claim for that online too.
HMRC's claim portal is online at https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home. For those who complete a self assessment tax return, they should use the expenses section to make their claim.
As of this week, over half a million people have already made a claim online for the current 2021/2022 tax year. Three million people claimed for the 2020/2021 tax year.