What expenses can I claim if I’m working from home?
If you’re self employed and do any work from home then you are able to claim expenses relating to your home when working out your taxable profit.
There are two ways to work out how much you can claim – simplified or actual cost.
Simplified is the simplest way to do this (the name sort of gives it away). This is where you can claim a flat rate per month based on the number of hours you used your home for work. You need to work at least 25 hours per month (about 6 hours a week) from home to use this method, and the rate varies depending on how many hours you worked. If some months you work at home more than others you can allow for this too. This rate doesn’t include phone or internet costs, but you can claim for these separately.
This is where you work out the actual cost of running your home (which is a good exercise in itself) and then work out the proportion of the time you work at home and the space that you work in.
You can include the cost of rent or mortgage interest, council tax, utilities, phone and internet costs. You need to find a way to proportion the costs based on business or personal use – if you use one of 5 rooms in your house (not including kitchens or bathrooms) for half of your working hours, then you could claim 1/5 (20%) of your costs by 1/2 (50%) – so about 10% of your household bills.
Rather than just using the simplest method it is best to calculate both methods to find out which is best for you – so remember to keep copies of all your household bills as well as your business expenses.
The details of what and how much you can claim do change from time to time, so it’s best to check the latest guidance before claiming, or you know, ask a friendly professional