83% of remote workers don’t get ‘free money’ from invoice tax relief

More than eight in 10 (83%) working remotely could lose up to €100 a year by not claiming tax relief for working from home.

In a new survey, remote workers across the country were asked if they had benefited from working from home. Only 17% said they had.

42% said they didn’t apply and 33% said they didn’t apply because they didn’t know how. Interestingly, 8% of respondents said they had no intention of applying for the relief.

The remote working relief allows people to claim a tax reduction of 10% of their electricity and heating bills and 30% of broadband costs, distributed over the number of days worked remotely during of the year.

The survey also asked people living in a shared house or flat how they thought this relief would be distributed where they lived. 29% believed that anyone working was eligible for full relief from the full cost of utilities, regardless of their type of accommodation.

27% thought relief was only available to the person named on each bill, while more than a fifth (21%) thought relief was not available at all to people living in a house or shared apartment.

Only 23% correctly assumed that the relief was given on their share of the bills – that is, three people sharing a house or flat would each take a third of the amount of the relief.

“We’ve advised all working-from-home customers to collect their bills and claim this relief,” said Barry Cahill of Taxback.com, who conducted the research.

Anyone who doesn’t loses “free money”, and while the amounts may be small, it’s hard to understand why anyone wouldn’t want that money in their pocket instead of leaving it to the taxman.

Mr Cahill said that with thousands of people working from home and sharing accommodation with others, eligibility for aid for people in this scenario was “probably common”.

He urged remote workers to take advantage of the tax relief on their utility and broadband bills.

“Some just don’t know about it, others might not fully understand how it works, and even more may believe it’s too complicated to claim,” he said.

“Put simply – tax refunds like this are money for jam, as the saying goes, and what we’ve found is that claiming a tax refund is usual – so those who don’t apply now also risk missing out on further relief.”

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