People working from home 'certainly don't require an accountant' to claim remote working tax relief, Revenue has said.
Many workplaces switched to remote working in March 2020, meaning employees may suddenly have found their electricity, heating or broadband bills increase.
Employers have been able to pay their staff an extra €3.20 per day to cover the additional costs.
However, there's remote working tax relief available for those who don't receive that payment from their employer.
Staff working from home can claim for:
- 10% of the cost incurred for electricity and heat
- 30% of the cost incurred for broadband
The relief available will be based on the number of days a worker spent working from home.
Revenue spokesperson Sinéad Sweeney spoke to The Pat Kenny Show about the tax relief.
She explained: “It’s very straightforward - certainly it doesn’t require an accountant to actually make that claim.
"But you will need to have your receipts or your bills.”
She said anyone hoping to avail of the relief can register on the MyAccount section of the Revenue website.
The process is similar to claiming other tax credits, such as medical expenses.
Users can upload their utility bills online, and there's a calculation system on the Revenue website to help work out what relief the person is actually due.
Once the documents and details are uploaded, the person claiming tax relief will need to fill out an income tax return.
However, that form will already be pre-populated with any details already uploaded - as well as details of any PAYE tax already deducted by an employer.
Sinéad said people may not receive hundreds of euro back in tax relief, but they will likely receive an amount that will be “evident”.
She also noted that the electricity and heat relief will increase to 30% in 2022, under measures announced in the budget.
Temporary wage subsidy
One other tax question many people will have is around the tax owed under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme - the emergency measure brought in to help employers cover staffing costs during lockdown.
At the start of the pandemic, the tax wasn't deducted in 'real-time' - meaning tens of thousands of employees now owe a tax liability.
People who've been receiving Employment Wage Subsidy (the replacement for the TWSS) or PUP payments in 2021 will not be liable for tax, as it has been deducted as normal.
For those who do owe tax on TWSS payments for 2020, Sinéad says they can log into the MyAccount section to find out about the exact amount owed.
There, they can also make a claim for any additional credits that would reduce the amount owed - such as remote working relief or healthcare expenses.
Sinéad said: "The outstanding amount… they can opt to have that paid over the coming four years, starting in [January] 2022. We will reduce their credit by an additional amount, depending on how much their liability is.
“They can, of course, go online and make an actual payment if they so desire.”
She said online is still the "quickest and easiest" way to contact Revenue and complete returns.
However, she said people can still contact Revenue by phone, and paper returns are also still available.