Office closure, WFH reimbursement

Soldato
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What about that those that filled in the form for WFH during the first year of covid when you had to work from home?

I completed the form back then and completely forgot about it until I saw this thread, do I now need to tell HMRC I have an office available to work from or did it automatically reset in the next tax year?
 
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From my understanding when I last read the new rules, they stipulated that you couldn't claim if you had "chosen" to WFH where you actually had an office available for the full week. You were allowed to claim still if this was only a partial week - which is how companies who have adopted hybrid working practices will be allowed to apply. My employer classes me as a hybrid worker and I have a notice telling me that I'm not allowed to use the office five days a week.

If you have something in writing say no to office full time then I think you will be fine to claim.
I for example have an office with my desk and while visitors may use it, in theory its available for whenever I choose to go in. My agreement is vague (1 or 2 days a week target in the office), so I am not claiming, i couldnt say that I am not allowed to go in since no one would even track it.

What about that those that filled in the form for WFH during the first year of covid when you had to work from home?

I completed the form back then and completely forgot about it until I saw this thread, do I now need to tell HMRC I have an office available to work from or did it automatically reset in the next tax year?

The forms for 20/21 and 21/22 were annual so in theory you needed to claim twice, they didnt nor will they roll over.
You can still claim for the one you didnt claim for at the time if you can work out which it was
 
Soldato
Joined
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18,196
Putting it bluntly... tough ****. You could make a request to your employer for additional expenses to cover the WFH costs, but that's about the only avenue you have available.
Are you sure?
A simple search finds this - https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home


You may be able to claim tax relief for:

  • gas and electricity
  • metered water
  • business phone calls, including dial-up internet access

The exact amount of extra costs you’ve incurred above the weekly amount - you’ll need evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts

To me it sounds like it's possible, but time consuming if you don't know what you are doing. I can see why many MPs get numerous expenses - they know the loopholes and what can/cannot be claimed
 
Soldato
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18,196
Business closes office due to employees all WFH so now employees want compensated as they can't use office they weren't using in first place? :confused: :cry:
There always were people WFH pre Covid, but since Covid less and less people have been going into the office, mainly people who want to escape kids/family at home :D
I would have thought it easily do-able for a business that was shelling out thousands a week on office space to re-emburse staff who have to use their own home to work. Hell, even paying every staff member £50 a month towards electric would be cheaper then renting the office space! It was something like 20k a month from memory
 
Soldato
Joined
24 Feb 2004
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10,186
Location
Hook, Hants
Are you sure?
A simple search finds this - https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home


You may be able to claim tax relief for:

  • gas and electricity
  • metered water
  • business phone calls, including dial-up internet access

The exact amount of extra costs you’ve incurred above the weekly amount - you’ll need evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts

To me it sounds like it's possible, but time consuming if you don't know what you are doing. I can see why many MPs get numerous expenses - they know the loopholes and what can/cannot be claimed

The problem is providing the actual evidence of your increased costs as a result of being forced to WFH. How do you quantify the increase in gas and electric usage, for example? Your home already needed broadband for personal use, how do you quantify the costs of now needing broadband for work too?

I'm in the same situation as you are, my business closed the office and forced me into a "virtual worker" contract but I've no idea how to make valid tax relief claims for these increased costs.
 
Soldato
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Location
5 degrees starboard
I am not entirely sure why there should be a tax allowance for working from home. There is little discernable benefit to the economy in fact probably the opposite. I could see the argument as a recompense during the covid lockdowns and again if there was a recurrence.
I see it as a conversation between employer and employee with HMRC not becoming involved in the longer term. As to the employer gaining from not paying for office space and then giving the benefit to the staff as a monthly expense, probably not.
 
Soldato
Joined
24 Feb 2004
Posts
10,186
Location
Hook, Hants
I am not entirely sure why there should be a tax allowance for working from home. There is little discernable benefit to the economy in fact probably the opposite. I could see the argument as a recompense during the covid lockdowns and again if there was a recurrence.
I see it as a conversation between employer and employee with HMRC not becoming involved in the longer term. As to the employer gaining from not paying for office space and then giving the benefit to the staff as a monthly expense, probably not.

Whether you agree with it or not, there is a tax allowance for working from home. I see no reason at all to not legitmately claim for something that the Government has made available :) They've already changed the policy so that only workers who are forced to work from home can claim for it though.

If I started a new job that was advertised as a "remote role", I wouldn't expect to be able to claim. But in this instance (and the case for the OP) my office was my formal workplace and the business decided to close it and forced me into a remote working option. Arguably this is no different to the tax benefits you can receive from being forced to buy uniform for work, tax benefits on petrol / mileage expenses etc either.
 
Soldato
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Location
Birmingham
There always were people WFH pre Covid, but since Covid less and less people have been going into the office, mainly people who want to escape kids/family at home :D
I would have thought it easily do-able for a business that was shelling out thousands a week on office space to re-emburse staff who have to use their own home to work. Hell, even paying every staff member £50 a month towards electric would be cheaper then renting the office space! It was something like 20k a month from memory

There would be tax implications for this
 
Soldato
Joined
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Posts
18,196
Whether you agree with it or not, there is a tax allowance for working from home. I see no reason at all to not legitmately claim for something that the Government has made available :) They've already changed the policy so that only workers who are forced to work from home can claim for it though.

If I started a new job that was advertised as a "remote role", I wouldn't expect to be able to claim. But in this instance (and the case for the OP) my office was my formal workplace and the business decided to close it and forced me into a remote working option. Arguably this is no different to the tax benefits you can receive from being forced to buy uniform for work, tax benefits on petrol / mileage expenses etc either.
I agree, people may/may not agree with it but the fact is now i'm permenatantly working from home my midday electric usage is going to go up. Not so much now / summer but in winter because of heating from 8am-4pm mon-fri.
Broadband I already had for personal use (like now) its the same line so cant claim on that I expect but certainly heating is going to be a big one.

Running aircon and heating in an ~8300 sq f office must cost (have costed) a fair wack!
 
Soldato
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Am I missing something. Why would the government or more accurately us/we funding you working from home? Why is that not down to your employer to be compensating if they feel the need to. I certainly shouldn’t have to be funding it that’s for sure.
 
Soldato
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Location
Hook, Hants
Am I missing something. Why would the government or more accurately us/we funding you working from home? Why is that not down to your employer to be compensating if they feel the need to. I certainly shouldn’t have to be funding it that’s for sure.

Using the same argument, why does the Government give tax breaks for those using their personal cars for work mileage (source)? Or why does the Government give tax breaks for those that have to buy their own uniform for work (source)? or travel and hotel costs (source).

How is that any different from expenses occurred whilst WFH?
 
Soldato
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5 degrees starboard
Am I missing something. Why would the government or more accurately us/we funding you working from home? Why is that not down to your employer to be compensating if they feel the need to. I certainly shouldn’t have to be funding it that’s for sure.
I suspect that if it becomes a much more substantial payout over time it will be scaled back. Taxes have to be proportionate and justifiable. If the recipient receives other benefit from not having to travel to work then there is no loss to be compensated by government. If a large number of people are provided rebate but an equally large number pay for it and cannot avail themselves of an equal process then it may be unsustainable.

Watch future budgets for changes.
 
Soldato
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South West
It was completely understandable whilst we were going through the whole coronavirus thing, people were encouraged by the government to work from home. Today is different, if a company is closing down its office due to financial savings then its they who should foot the bill for staff compensation. Not me or you. It’s a p take if you ask me.
 
Soldato
Joined
24 Feb 2004
Posts
10,186
Location
Hook, Hants
It was completely understandable whilst we were going through the whole coronavirus thing, people were encouraged by the government to work from home. Today is different, if a company is closing down its office due to financial savings then its they who should foot the bill for staff compensation. Not me or you. It’s a p take if you ask me.

It's not a new rule. WFH tax relief expenses have been available to claim for years prior to covid.
 
Soldato
Joined
5 Sep 2010
Posts
24,656
Are you sure?
A simple search finds this - https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home


You may be able to claim tax relief for:

  • gas and electricity
  • metered water
  • business phone calls, including dial-up internet access

The exact amount of extra costs you’ve incurred above the weekly amount - you’ll need evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts

To me it sounds like it's possible, but time consuming if you don't know what you are doing. I can see why many MPs get numerous expenses - they know the loopholes and what can/cannot be claimed
It's possible if you're entitled to claim but I don't see how you can however much you think it's going to cost you.

Thanks all. I do / can walk to work, im city central so its a 10-15 min walk.
Yes, at the moment I choose to work from home but do have the option of going in. In future, I will not.

I have claimed through a company called TaxReturned last year and managed to get ~£130 which wasnt too bad. Yes, they took a fee but wasnt too bothered as let them sort it all. I checked with HMRC they were legit first, which they are.
It doesnt take into account electric usage though and forms had nothing about being able (or not) to go into an office. I would like some heating at home in winter instead of working in 13c in hat and gloves!
To claim tax relief, you cannot have just chosen to work from home.
 
Soldato
Joined
24 Jul 2016
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4,167
Location
South West
It's not a new rule. WFH tax relief expenses have been available to claim for years prior to covid.
It’s a decision by his company post covid to capitalise on savings made from increased numbers of staff working from home.

I don’t begrudge anyone wanting to wfh or to be compensated for it, I do however begrudge picking up a tab that should be picked by his employer. Enough of this corporate welfare state.
 
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