Expenses an employee may claim while working from home
We are now entering the fifth week of lockdown due to the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID19) and many of us are working from home. In this time of pressure on our finances, you will need to know what you are entitled to by way of expenses from your employer.
You should be able to claim expenses if you are working from home because your workplace has closed and your employer is following the advice to self-isolate. The scheme is not applicable to you if you are a Furloughed worker who is part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
What can you claim?
If you’re expected to use a phone solely for business purposes, and the phone and associated equipment has not been provided for you, you can make a claim for the handset and sim card and service costs. Expect to hand the phone over on your return to work. This is also true of any laptops or computers bought during this period.
Broadband – if you already use broadband you cannot claim for installation or use; but if you have had to upgrade your service and supplement it with a booster of the similar device you may make a claim for the difference and the full cost of any supplementary services like a booster.
Additional expenses like electricity, heating or broadband are chargeable to your employer at £4.00 a week, rising to £6.00 per week after the 6th of April. If you need to use your own car for business, and this means you have to leave your home to do it, you are entitled to 45p per mile and this includes petrol allowance.
In extreme circumstances, or if you are a front line key worker (doctor, nurse or similar), you may able to claim temporary accommodation if you need to self-isolate, but cannot do so in your own home, you can be reimbursed for hotel expenses and subsistence costs.
The tax office uses the following principles when considering an expenses claim – and it is a useful analogy when deciding what is applicable and what is not.
If the item or service you wish to claim for can only be used for business purposes and nothing else you can claim for it. For example, a high court judge may claim for his wig and robe but the stenographer cannot claim for his suit. The suit may be worn to dinner after work but the wig and robe cannot be used in any other circumstance.
Like anything in life expenses are no exception. Keep a record so you can prove your claim or risk losing out.
Please contact us if you have any further questions about any expense claim.