Until the end of the tax year, HMRC could provide tax relief of 50% of the average season ticket, paid in the same way as the flat rate home working relief of £6/week.
Individuals might then choose to go back to work and use the tax relief received to spend in those businesses in need, such as cafes and sandwich bars in city centres, getting more money into the system.
Whilst the debate over the relative merits of home working vs office working is likely to rumble on (saving time and increased productivity against collaborative working), most individuals would aim for a healthy mix of the two.
There has been much discussion recently on how to get people back into city centres and offices, with the Government actively calling for a return, but the immediate obstacle is the cost of commuting.
The tax system does not currently allow for any tax relief for commuting costs. Considering many annual season tickets cost in excess of £5,000, there is an active disincentive for a return to the office.
This is only likely to get worse as winter approaches. The Government has shown their willingness to take bold action so far, such as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Why not now with a ‘Commute to Reboot’ initiative.