Give us your feedback: Save money on your tax bill with our WFH allowance calculator

Hi everyone

We’re trying out an idea for a work from home allowance calculator. With more of us working from home, you can save money on your tax bill (sometimes hundreds of pounds) by claiming a portion of your household costs as a business expense.

We’ve made a quick tool that will show you what you can save by claiming this allowance:

We’re looking for feedback on it, so please check it out, and share with anyone else you think will find it useful.

Give it a try and report back here!

  • Did you find this useful?
  • Did you already know how to calculate and include this on the tax bill?
  • Was anything confusing?

Thanks all,
Adam

8 Likes

Really like this @adamjgo! Interested to hear everyone’s feedback.

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This is an amazing tool I am sure lots of people will find useful.

Kudos Team Coconut!

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Good idea! I have a spreadsheet I use. I know there are a few different ways to calculate it so I’m wondering what the implications are if I switched to this method as I’m not sure it’s the same as mine. Handily I’ve moved house so it could be a good time to change.

Other questions and comments:

  • I didn’t know if it would email me or give me a way to save the results (I do see now that it says that at the bottom but I didn’t read that far)
  • The wording about rooms is slightly confusing - better might be “Of the room(s) you use for work, how many hours do you spend working in there” or similar.
  • It would be amazing if this somehow integrated into the app e.g. there was a place to add qualifying expenses and then you can just use that number to calculate the home office costs
  • Would personal use include sleeping? (i.e. if you work in your bedroom)
  • I didn’t understand the tax saved vs work from home allowance numbers - which is the one I’d put on the return and where does the tax saved figure come from?
  • Just realised I assumed it was an annual cost for the qualifying expenses box not monthly (sorry I am almost a millenial so don’t read) maybe that could be a toggle so people can choose annual or monthly? I know it’s easy to x or / by 12 but it’s more to make them realise. Could just be me though!
  • I didn’t email it to myself as I was using fake numbers to test it but will it let me edit it from the email if needed? For example if I forget something.

I’d rather use this as it feels more official but if my way works out better financially I might stick with that.

3 Likes

Great feedback @katycarlisle, thank you. I’m sure @adamjgo will come back to you.

Thanks @ryev! Glad you found it useful

Thanks @katycarlisle, great feedback as always.

Would personal use include sleeping? (i.e. if you work in your bedroom)

Good question! HMRC just says you need to come up with a ‘reasonable method’ but doesn’t say what that is. We’ve used a generally accepted reasonable method in the calculator, but there’s no generally accepted answer to this question (that I’m aware of).

Whatever you decide, bear in mind you may have to defend it to HMRC one day if they ask. I’m going to consult with our resident accountant @Jamie on that one.

maybe that could be a toggle so people can choose annual or monthly?

Yeah we discussed doing this, particularly if you have a mortgage, as the mortgage interest won’t be the same every month (where rent will be). +1 for this.

will it let me edit it from the email if needed?

We can add a back button so you can go back and amend it.

Everything else - we’ll make those clearer, thanks Katy!

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Hi Adam, this is a great, very useful feature. Love how simple it is and the quick result. Agree with @katycarlisle’s feedback especially the point around the wording of the questions and her suggested wording would definitely be clearer. Thanks! Mark

Agree it would be good clarify sleeping or not. I sometimes have to use my bedroom to work, but sleeping seems silly to include.

Other thing is – ideally this would just be added as a once-a-year questionnaire when entering the Tax Calculation section of the app. And then the result auto-factored into the calc.

Great idea. I imagine a lot of people will have been in the situation this year where they are working from home some, but not all, of the time. For example where usual office facilities were closed during lockdown, or when people have been isolating or shielding for a set period of time.
I know we could take the annual result and divide it based on how many days/weeks/months WFH applies to, but it would be handy if this was a built in feature and part of the calculation. Maybe a ‘how many weeks have you worked from home’ question?