NHS keyworker thanks

A massive thanks to all those still working on the frontline as I call it, this includes not only the NHS staff but includes:

Cleaners, those who work in the retail industry, Outreach workers who are still going out and seeing the vulnerable in our community , those who are working in care homes looking after our elderly, Dustbin men, Postmen, Bus/Delivery drivers, staff at your local G.P the list is endless and I could go on forever. When I clap for the NHS on a Thursday evening, I am also applauding everyone else who is leaving their house to go to work and is unable to work from home in the current climate.

In light of the pandemic many of us who are able to, are now working from home, until very recently I was still going into work so I have great respect for those who are still required to travel to and from work. Personally, I have found this to be very challenging. Having family around you 24/7 is something I had never imagined in my wildest dreams. Having to try and work uninterrupted with no distraction is no mean feat, getting used to skype video calls, somehow my head always looks twice the normal size! Also ensuring there is no clutter on display in the background.

Several friends have asked for information in relation to any allowances that may be available  especially as one friend put it I am using my electricity e.t.c you may be eligible to claim an allowance from HMRC some employers may claim this for you but you may claim this yourself directly from the Tax Office.

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From 2003, employers have been able to make tax-free payments to help employees cover their reasonable l expenses incurred as a result of working from home. These payments are not subject to income tax nor national insurance.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible, you must be carrying out the work-related duties under homeworking arrangements. In other words, you must be performing some or all of your duties at home. HMRC guidance notes states that they will accept an employee is working at home regularly where it is frequent, or follows a pattern, such as working at home for two days of every week. In the example of an employee working two days a week at home, HMRC will accept that this may be considered regular even if the employee if the days of the week are not the same every week.

Informal working at home does not count as homeworking e.g taking work home in the evenings is not considered homeworking. There must be an arrangement to work at home and not at the employer’s premises. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, HMRC will now accept that employees working from home because their employer’s offices have closed /or because the employee is following advice to self-isolate. New homeworkers will be entitled to receive the allowance tax free from the date that their employer agreed they could work from home, or from when government advice was announced.

What can you claim:

If you can show that your home is a workplace you can claim relief for the following expenses:

additional heating and lighting
metered water
What you cannot claim for:
mortgage interest or rent
council tax
water rates

What will you receive?

You are entitled to claim the following:
£6 per week for weekly paid employees (£4 per week prior to 6 April 2020); or
£26 per month for monthly paid employees (£18 per month prior to 6 April 2020).
There is no need for you to justify the expenditure and you do not need to keep records/documents to prove that you have spent the above amounts.

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How to make a claim

You can make a claim online, by phone, by post or, if you are registered for self-assessment, through their tax return. HMRC has a tool available at: https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home which is a useful guide.

Please read and share Good luck and remember to stay safe

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