Working from home in the heatwave - does this mean you can claim the working from home tax relief?

If you’re working from home in the heatwave, we explain the important distinction around whether you will be eligible to claim working from home tax relief

Man sitting in deck chair inside at home with inflatable flamingo
(Image credit: Getty images)

Are you working from home in the heatwave? With a red weather warning in place for the next couple of days, and the extreme heat expected to cause travel disruption, many of us will be working from home. But for those who are normally office-based, does this mean that they will now be able to claim the working from home tax (WFH) relief?

The tax relief is designed to cover any additional costs you might face by working from home. The amount you get will depend on the rate of tax you pay, but could be as much as £140 per year. And you only have to have been told to work from home for a single day in order to be able to claim for the whole tax year. With the cost of living continuing to squeeze household finances, it’s never been more important to claim any tax relief you could be owed. 

However, whether you can claim if you are working from home in the heatwave depends on an important distinction. For some people, the answer is yes, for others, the answer is no. Below we explain the key factor that determines whether you will be eligible to claim or not. 

Can I claim tax relief if I work from home in the heatwave?

The rules around the WFH tax relief are that if you have been asked to work from home, even for just one day, you are entitled to claim (providing your employer isn’t already paying you for any additional expenses you might incur). But the key thing here is that your employer has to have told you to work from home. 

If your employer has simply given you the option to work from home in the heatwave or to come into the office, and you choose to work from home, you are not eligible to claim the tax relief. 

If you were told to work from home during the pandemic and haven’t yet claimed the tax relief, you can backdate your claim. You have until 5 April 2025 to claim the working from home tax relief for the 2020/21 tax year, and until 5 April 2026 to claim for the 2021/22 tax year.

Sarah Handley

Sarah is an experienced journalist and editor with more than 10 years' experience in the homes industry, working across brands such as Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living and Real Homes. After segueing into the world of personal finance, acting as launch editor of TheMoneyEdit.com, Sarah is now an Editor in Future’s Wealth division with a focus on property-related finance and household bills. She is passionate about helping people cut through confusing jargon to make the right financial decisions when getting on the property ladder and turning a house into a home.