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No more Work from home codings

HMRC have added a new question to making a claim

Didn't find your answer?

"You must read the following before making a claim

Guidance has changed for the new tax year

The guidance for claiming tax relief for working from home has changed for expenses on or after 6 April 2022.

Claiming tax relief on or after 6 April 2022

You can claim if your employer has not already paid your expenses and you have additional household costs as a result of working from home.

One of the following must also apply:

there are no appropriate facilities available for you to perform your job on your employer's premises

the nature of the job requires you to live so far from the employer's premises that it is unreasonable for you to travel to those premises on a daily basis

you are required, under government restrictions, to work from home

To claim tax relief, you cannot have just chosen to work from home.

Guidance has changed for the new tax year.
You must ensure you meet the rules for claiming, as you may be prosecuted if you deliberately give incorrect or misleading information.

By clicking accept and continue, you are accepting that you meet the rules for the years you are claiming for."

copied from HMRC when trying to claim working from home

 

"there are no appropriate facilities available for you to perform your job on your employer's premises"

Is this a genuine change to the rules? What does it mean? 

 

The rules used to be an instruction from employer, as in, not the employees choice

That is not mentiond. Now HMRC claim it should be only if employer has NO facilities

Also, based on a sample size of  1, codings that had WFH in ye 2022 are being replced with codings with no WFH for ye 2023

 

Replies (15)

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
26th Apr 2022 17:12

Sample size of 1. Lol. :’)

The guidance definitely read to me as it did you, I wonder what the legislation says though and how much this is just HMRC trying not to pay it.

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By Not Anonymous
26th Apr 2022 17:25

AIUI WFH allowance of £312 is only removed from the 2022/23 tax code if the claim was made via HMRC's Covid-19 micro-service.

If it was claimed on a Self Assessment return and included in the code as a result of the entries on the return then it wouldn't be removed from the 2022/23 code.

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Replying to Not Anonymous:
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By Paul Crowley
26th Apr 2022 18:26

Think I would agree, no WFH category on the descriptions I use on the SA software, any coding would just be for business expenses amalgamated in one figure.
Probably does not matter as the tax return is the opportunity to sort it out and even the HMRC people on the agent line recognise that the coding is irrelevant if returns are being completed

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By Hugo Fair
26th Apr 2022 19:32

Just looks to me like classic FUD from HMRC ... with broadly everything being just as it was both before and during the pandemic (e.g. it has retained the "you are required, under government restrictions, to work from home" criterion).

Even the 'new' item ("there are no appropriate facilities available for you to perform your job on your employer's premises") is just a more convoluted phrase to cover the old "an instruction from employer".

Try coming up with a scenario where the old definition applies but the new one doesn't - and I think you'll find that if the employer instructs you to work from home then by definition there are no appropriate facilities 'at work' (because the employer has deemed them, for whatever reason, as inappropriate)!

So new guidance that makes the rules even less clear (and so hopefully discourages more people from making a claim) ... BAU for HMRC!

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By gillybean04
26th Apr 2022 20:02

The appropriate facilities part has been in the guidance for years.

Why do people think it's new?

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Replying to gillybean04:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
27th Apr 2022 06:47

gillybean04 wrote:

The appropriate facilities part has been in the guidance for years.

Why do people think it's new?

Er, ‘cos when the press announced the relief during Covid it was the only time anyone in the country actually paid attention to the rules?

How many wfh employees claimed it in 19/20?

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By gillybean04
27th Apr 2022 11:36

Au contraire, even if they had only paid attention to the rules when the press announced it, they would have seen the appropriate facilities requirement.

But just to be clear, are you saying they've never (in the 10+ years before covid or since covid) paid attention to the rules? Or that they get their rules from the media?

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Replying to gillybean04:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
27th Apr 2022 15:52

‘They’ as in, employees? Yes that’s exactly what I’m saying.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By gillybean04
27th Apr 2022 16:30

Ah, apologies. It seems we are at cross purposes. When I asked why people think it's new, I meant the responses here saying or implying it was a new requirement.

I was a bit flabbergasted when you suggested Hugo, Paul etc have never bothered to read the rules. But it would make sense if you were referring to the employees, and not Hugo, Paul etc.

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By SteveHa
27th Apr 2022 10:29

Quote:
as you may be prosecuted if you deliberately give incorrect or misleading information.

However unlikely prosecution is.

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By Paul D Utherone
27th Apr 2022 10:29

So I suppose I probably lose it again as the office is still there, and I used to go in everyday, even though it was a 1-2 hour each way commute, but our new way of working no longer requires me to come in unless needed for a meeting.

- I have not "just chosen to work from home", but there are "appropriate facilities available for [me] to perform [my] job on [my] employer's premises". It has just been agreed that WFH is an efficient way of working; and
- As I travelled to the office daily for years pre March 2020 then "it is unreasonable for you to travel to those premises on a daily basis" presumably cannot apply.

Hey ho. It wasn't much at the end of the day I suppose

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By gillybean04
27th Apr 2022 11:55

It's not often I know more than other posters on here, but since I seem to on this subject, hopefully I can help clear up the confusion.

WFH tax relief is dealt with under s336 ITEPA, which requires that the employee be obliged to incur and pay the expense as a holder of the employment, and that the expense is incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in performance of the duties of that employment.

HMRC guidance EIM32760 has (at least for the last 10 years) stated they will accept the expense is incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in performance of the duties if all of the following are met:
- the duties performed at home are substantive duties
- those duties cannot be performed without appropriate facilities
- there is no appropriate facilities available at the employer's premises (or the nature of the job requires them to live too far away from the employer's premises),
- at no time before or after the contract was drawn up, was the employee able to choose whether to wfh.

What people might be getting mixed up with (which I imagine more posters deal with than employee claims) is the payments made by an employer for homeworking. Dealt with under S316A ITEPA with less restrictive wording/tests than S336, and only requires that the payment be for reasonable addtional household expenses incurred in performing duties of the employment at home under homeworking arrangements. It defines homeworking arrangements as arrangements between employer and employee under which the employee regularly performs some or all of the duties at home.

HMRC guidance on the homeworking payments made by an employer (EIM01472) states they can't be working from home informally, it must be under formal arrangements.

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Replying to gillybean04:
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By Hugo Fair
27th Apr 2022 14:07

An excellent exposition ... and of course you're quite right that (despite knowing the difference) many of us, me included, sometimes mix up the rules for tax relief with those for the 'allowance' when pontificating on here.

However I'd be interested to hear of a scenario where the claim would fail because there are 'appropriate facilities' for the duties at the workplace - despite the employer having instructed the employee to work from home.
Presumably the employer believes the facilities are inappropriate or insufficient, even if that is because the desk has been replaced by an exercise bicycle (or there are now more staff than desks or ...).

Thanks (3)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By gillybean04
27th Apr 2022 14:41

Are you sure an employer can "instruct" an employee to wfh where it's not in their employment contract? While I can't give legal advice, I'm pretty sure that could only be made as a request and not an instruction. (Edit: obviously as a request, the employee can choose whether to agree to refuse the request).

But if homeworking isn't mandated by the terms of their employment, can it be said they are obliged to incur & pay the expense as holder of the employment? Or that the expense is incurred necessarily in performance of those duties?

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Replying to gillybean04:
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By Hugo Fair
27th Apr 2022 15:31

It's a long time (30+ years) since I dealt with 'pure' Employment legislation (as opposed to the aspects that overlap with Payroll, Pensions, etc) ... but there are a lot of things that aren't typically set in stone within an Employment contract but on which nevertheless an employer will instruct an employee (and the employee is happy to comply).
Think travelling the night before an early morning meeting at a remote client, or taking your lunchbreak early today so that Jo can make a Dr's appointment, or ...

It probably doesn't help that the majority of employees in the UK have not been issued with a formal, written Contract - and so are relying on custom & practice as evidenced by employer's previous behaviour with other staff.
But I'm not sure that anything formal is required (advisable certainly but not mandated) if, for example, the employer instructs staff to work from home for a fortnight whilst the office move (or refurbishment) is taking place?

As you hint, this may or may not constitute an enforceable instruction - as the employee could refuse and then be told to take time as paid leave - but usually common sense and goodwill is retained by both parties.

Anyway, to revert to the main point, contracts are often amended during a period of employment ... so if an employer has decided to reduce office space/capabilities post-Covid (as is happening in many Civil Service departments to the disgust of Mr Rees-Mogg), then the adequate facilities for employing everyone full-time in the office may factually no longer exist.

I could go on, but there are plants waiting to be planted round the back ...

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