Employees working from home urged to claim tax relief 7 months ago

Employees working from home urged to claim tax relief

Over 100,000 people are estimated to be working from home in Ireland at the moment.

The many thousands of people working from home in Ireland have been urged to avail of tax relief they may not have known was available to them in their current circumstances.

It is estimated that over 100,000 people are working from home in Ireland in the wake of government recommendations to try and contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Employees in that situation can avail of Revenue’s e-worker relief to allow for expenses for utilities such as electricity, heating and broadband.

An employer can pay employees a tax-free sum of €3.20 per day to cover those and other associated costs, but isn’t legally obligated to do so.

Even if the employer doesn’t pay those daily costs, however, employees can still claim tax relief on them, provided they can support the claim with evidence in the form of receipts and possibly a letter from an employer stating that the employee does work from home and that they are not reimbursed 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,” said Joanna Murphy, CEO of Taxback.com.

“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.”

Taxback.com say that home workers and e-workers who work from home on a full or part-time basis can qualify for the tax relief; it does not apply to workers who bring work home outside of normal working hours.

“E-working is characterised by working for substantial amounts of time outside your normal place of work, logging onto a work computer remotely, communicating remotely, or indeed developing ideas, products and services remotely,” Murphy added.

“Simply calculate your total costs and the amount of your time (as a percentage) you spent working from home. You can then claim the tax break on this percentage of the cost”.

Those who wish to avail of the tax relief, if not reimbursed by their employer, will need proof of costs incurred (bills, receipts etc.) to claim tax relief and must keep a detailed record of business v private use.

More information is available on e-working on the Revenue website here.