Employees now working from home urged to claim tax relief

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THOUSANDS of workers throughout the country who have recently been asked to work from home as a result of COVID-19 can avail of Revenue’s e-worker relief.

Spokespeople at Taxback.com say that many workers who now find themselves working remotely from home may be unaware of the tax-relief available to them.

Joanna Murphy, CEO of Taxback.com acknowledged it is a “difficult time for everyone and households throughout the country are already feeling the financial impact of this”, and believes it is important people are made aware of the supports available to them.

She said, “There are already estimated 100,000 plus people who work from home and Revenue has made provisions for these people to be reimbursed for work-related expenses.

Now, these provisions can apply to the new wave of e-worker also. This is a benefit that, in our experience, is already heavily underutilised. But now more than ever people are going to need all the financial support they can get.”

 

Taxback.com say that by working from home over the coming weeks and possibly longer, will incur additional costs such as electricity, broadband, ad home heating.

Ms Murphy commented although it isn’t a legal obligation “an employer can pay €3.20 a day to their employee to cover these additional costs.

“This payment is tax-free,” she said, “which means they won’t be deducting PAYE, PRSI or USC from that amount. It isn’t a legal obligation to do this, however.

But if an employer does not or isn’t in a position to pay the €3.20, the expenses are “eligible for tax relief meaning the ‘home-worker’ can claim tax back on them”.

The Taxback.com Ceo continued, “Any claims made will need to be supported with evidence in the form of receipts and possibly a letter from your employer stating that you do, in fact, work from home and that they do not reimburse you for these expenses.

“The allowance or rebate claimed must be reasonable, allowing for the fact that the utilities are for both personal and work and benefit everyone else in the home, so the refund received will be based on only a portion of the overall expenses.

“And even if your employer does reimburse the employee – if the cost run-up exceeds the €3.20-mark, tax can still be reclaimed on the difference.”