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Remember, remember the Fifth of November, but for 2020, it is less about the fireworks and more about the damp squib of going into another lockdown in England for four weeks (or more).

As the weather is not as welcoming as it was earlier in the year, here at Claritas Tax we have been trying to think of some positives of the new lockdown, as we all brace ourselves for another month of banana bread and rationing loo roll.

  1. You could get paid extra to work from home

The Chancellor has announced that he is reinstating the original 80% furlough scheme for November, which will be welcome news for many, particularly in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors, whose wages will now get some protection while they are unable to work.

Working from Home image

For those working from home, however, HMRC have confirmed that, regardless of whether you were required to work from home all the time, if you have to work from home at all during 2020/21, even for one day, then you can claim a full year’s working from home flat rate allowance of £6 per week. While £312 at your marginal rate of tax isn’t an awful lot to write home about, it’s definitely better than nothing.

  1. Save on commuting costs

With everyone told to stay at home, the fuel savings, particularly for those with long commutes could be substantial. Of course, the cost to the Treasury of all those lost journeys to work is also going to be pretty high, as they are losing out on almost 58p per litre (plus VAT on the overall cost) in fuel duty.

commuting in traffic image

  1. Experiment with drinking cider

With pubs closed, why not make your choice of tipple a tax planning measure? The alcohol duties on a pint of 5% beer are 54p per pint, but the equivalent strength cider is only suffering duty at 23p per pint, so there are tax savings to be made!

Pouring cider image

Out of interest, most wines are taxed at £2.23 per 750ml bottle, and while they could be up to three times as strong, this is not the most tax effective choice. Whatever you do, if you are worried about the duty don’t go for super strong ciders (over 5.5%), beers (over 7.5%) or sparkling wine over 8.5% as these all attract higher rates of duty.

* Well. Perhaps just slightly less bad rather than actually Good.

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