Remote workers will receive as little as 7 cent a day in a tax refund for remote working last year (2020), despite forking out at least €210 in extra heating and lighting over that period as a result of having to work from home due to the pandemic, according to Roscommon TD Denis Naughten.
The Independent deputy claims that 44,000 workers have submitted a tax reclaim for working from home in 2020 with an average refund from the Revenue Commissioners of just €26.00 after they go through a cumbersome reclaim process involving the submission of 12 months’ worth of invoices for broadband, heating and electricity. The AA estimates that working from home cost families an extra €210.00 on gas heating and electricity alone in 2020. That does not consider those who rely on oil fired central heating, which has seen an increase in demand by 18% in 2020 or those who are reliant on solid fuel heating.
Many families have seen their broadband costs increase with additional charges for going over their data limits.
Last month the Government promised to review the current tax arrangements for remote workers in its remote working strategy, yet just a few weeks earlier the Minister for Finance rejected such a review that Deputy Naughten tabled to the Finance Bill.
Based on the Government’s own spending code, every worker who works at home in 2021 provides the Government with a saving of over 11 cent a day in carbon emissions alone. So, the deputy told Midwest News Editor Teresa O'Malley today thatthe Government is benefiting from people working from home, but it will be at least 2022 before any proper acknowledgement is provided to such workers.