Workers unaware of tax relief entitlements for working from home

A survey from tax services website Taxback.com found 63% still do not know of the tax relief being advertised by Revenue for a portion of costs incurred by home working.
Workers unaware of tax relief entitlements for working from home
It applies to firms where employee works at home full or part-time, or where they work part of the time at home and the remainder in the normal place of work.

Almost two-thirds of workers remain unaware that they can claim tax relief of more than €15 a week while working from home.

A survey from tax services website Taxback.com found 63% still do not know of the tax relief being advertised by Revenue for a portion of costs incurred by home working.

The survey of 2,500 found 70% overall did not know about it, and of those who are currently working from home, 63% had no idea they could claim.

The Office of the Revenue Commissioners allows employees working from home to claim €3.20 per day in expenses, if duties are being performed within normal working hours.

It applies to firms where employee works at home full or part-time, or where they work part of the time at home and the remainder in the normal place of work.

According to Revenue, e-working involves "logging onto a work computer remotely sending and receiving email, data or files remotely developing ideas, products and services remotely".

Citizens Information says the €3.20 per day can be offered by employers to workers without deducting PAYE, PRSI, or USC. The employer must keep a record of payments made.

CEO of Taxback.com Joanna Murphy said: "There is a widespread lack of awareness about the working from home relief amongst the general public. At a time when every penny counts for households, it’s important that people know what they are due and claim accordingly.

"We are trying to get the message out to that large cohort of people that are working from home that there are ways to help offset the extra financial burden incurred."

She said in terms of the type of costs that home workers can factor in, the most obvious are heating, electricity and perhaps broadband expenses.

"From a tax perspective, an employer can pay €3.20 a day or €768 per annum to their employee to cover these additional costs. This payment is tax free, which means they won’t be deducting PAYE, PRSI or USC from that amount, although there isn’t a legal obligation for employers to do this.

"There are, however, also a few unexpected costs that you can claim relief on such as property taxes, home insurance, supplies and tools, license fees, and training costs -- where they are for upgrading skills that relate to your employment," Ms Murphy said.

The Taxback survey also asked employees what Government tax measures could help incentivise remote working, reduce emissions or help cover the cost of childcare for workers.

Ms Murphy said: "There was a mixed response to this question in that 55% would prefer a tax incentive and 45% would prefer to see the money used to fund childcare.

"This is interesting in the context of the situation in the country at the moment, where many families are in the midst of a dual crisis whereby they face mounting pressure as regards their ongoing childcare needs versus the public health restrictions, but are also facing possible increased financial pressure having had working hours cut or maybe having even lost their job entirely."

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