Homeworkers urged to claim money back on energy bills

Citizens Advice Scotland said more than one million people could be eligible for tax relief.

Homeworkers urged to claim money back on energy bills PA Ready

Homeworkers could be missing out on more than £100 a year in tax relief, according to Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

The charity is urging workers who moved out of the office during the coronavirus pandemic to claim the relief on their energy bills ahead of the tax year ending on Monday.

Under the tax relief system, people can claim between £1.20 a week (£62 a year) and £2.40 a week (£124.80 a year) if they have been working from home.

More than one million people were homeworking at the height of the pandemic last April, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

CAS also warned that a new energy price cap rise comes into force from Thursday, with increases of £96 for default tariff customers and £87 for pre-payment meter customers.

Kate Morrison, CAS fair markets spokeswoman, said: “Over one million people in Scotland who have been working from home during the pandemic could be entitled to this tax relief, so we’re encouraging everyone to apply.

“Lots of us have been working from home during the pandemic and will have had the heating on for much longer stretches as a result.

“Any money saved on bills will be especially welcome having come through a cold winter which pushed up heating demands, on top of today’s energy price cap rise which will result in price hikes for many households.

“This relief isn’t perfect – we’d like to see it reviewed and increased for people on lower incomes who are more likely to be living in fuel poverty in the first place.

“If homeworking becomes more widespread after the pandemic then this relief could become more important to lots of people over time.”