Martin Lewis put a lot of effort into getting workers to look into their tax obligations in 2020 as coronavirus forced millions to work from home. However, yesterday the Money Saving Expert warned workers only have a limited time to act as the new tax year approaches.
Martin began by breaking down how this tax incentive works: “[If] you have been required to work from home in the last year listen up.
“If you’ve had extra costs, for example extra heating or electricity costs, you are entitled to either six pounds a week from your employer tax free, they don’t have to give it to you, they can and it’s tax free is the point but most don’t.
“Or, £6 a week tax relief, so £6 of your salary that isn’t taxed.
“If you’re a 20 percent rate taxpayer, you save about £1.60 on that £6.
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While this support will likely be beneficial for many workers who have been forced to stay at home, Martin warned time may be running out to take advantage of the changes.
Martin continued: “Now, don’t delay on this because I’ve been asking and they haven’t confirmed if this micro service [will still] be there after April 5, so it’d be more difficult to claim afterwards.
“What we also don’t know is what will happen next year, now I think if we’re still in lockdown the same situation should apply.
“But it might go back to the previous rule where you have to claim week by week, rather than getting the whole year’s allowance.”
As a result of these uncertainties, Martin concluded by urging affected workers to go and claim because “it’s your money, you’re entitled to it”.
It’s possible that some workers may worry it’s not worth the hassle but Martin had some special guests on his show to illustrate how his advice works in practice.
Two workers named Sam and Jessica were asked about how they found the process and the following response was given: “It was ridiculously easy.
“A lady in my finance team at work just sent me the link and it took us to the Government website.
“[It] literally took less than five minutes and i’ve been claiming about £26 per month through my monthly wage.”
The Government notes on top of the tax relief available for rising home costs such as energy bills, workers may be able to claim relief on certain equipment they’ve had to buy to work from home.
This can include laptops, chairs or mobile phones.
It will only be possible to claim tax relief on these equipment expenses if they’re needed for the job at hand and there’s no “significant private” use involved.