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Working at home? You can avail of tax relief


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Thousands of people who have been asked to work from home as a result of Covid-19 can claim a special tax relief.

They are eligible for Revenue's e-worker relief, according to experts at Taxback.com.

And people working from home are also entitled to be paid €3.20 a day by their employer to cover heating, electricity and broadband.

This payment is tax-free, which means the employer won't be deducting PAYE, PRSI or USC from that amount.

The chief executive of Taxback.com, Joanna Murphy, says that even if your employer is not paying the €3.20 a day, these expenses are eligible for tax relief.

This means the home-worker can claim tax back on them, she explained.

"Any claims made will need to be supported with evidence in the form of receipts and possibly a letter from your employer stating that you do, in fact, work from home and that they do not reimburse you for these expenses."

Ms Murphy said 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.

This means the refund received will be based on only a portion of the overall expenses.

Even if your employer does reimburse its employees and the cost to the worker exceeds the €3.20, tax can still be reclaimed on the difference.

The experts at Taxback.com said home workers and e-workers who work from home on a full or part-time basis can qualify for this relief.

Ms Murphy said e-working is characterised by working for substantial amounts of time outside your normal place of work, logging on to a work computer remotely, communicating remotely, or developing ideas, products and services remotely.

She said e-workers should calculate their total costs and the amount of the time (as a percentage) they spend working from home. They can then claim the tax break on this percentage of the cost.

There are already an estimated 100,000-plus home workers in Ireland and Revenue has made provisions for them to be reimbursed for work-related expenses.

Irish Independent