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It’s easier to claim home office expenses due to COVID-19

Mar 4, 2021 | Work Culture

Earlier last year, the government made it easier to claim your 2020 home office expenses. And in November, the CRA stated that it will allow employees, who worked from home last year, to claim up to $400 in employment expenses. Prior to the pandemic, in order to access home office deductions, an employee would need to sign a contract that requires work from home. However, in order to simplify the process for 2020, this condition has been deleted. To make a claim you can use one of the following two methods.

Temporary flat rate method

Introduced recently, this method is for anyone who worked more than 50% of the time from home for at least four consecutive weeks. For each day you worked (vacation days, sick days and days off don’t count), you can claim $2, up to a maximum of $400. This method is an easy way how to get back your expenses without the requirement of tracking them or to provide a form signed by your employer. But bear in mind, that you cannot claim other expenses. This method is a tax deduction and not a credit, which means you deduct it from your income to reduce your liability but it will not result in a refund. To make the claim, you will need to fill the new T777S form.

Detailed method

With this method you can claim all your eligible home office expenses, however, they must be supported by relevant documents. Due to COVID-19, the government made the process a little easier, by introducing the new T2200S form, which is a shortened version of T2200. Your employer will need to sign this form and may use an electronic signature to do so.

What can be claimed

  • Electricity 
  • Heat 
  • Water 
  • Internet 
  • Maintenance cost 
  • Rent paid for a house or apartment

Commission employees can also claim

  • Home insurance 
  • Property taxes 
  • Lease of a cell phone, computer and other devices that reasonably relate to earning commission income 

Employer tax-free reimbursement for your new home office furniture

Have you decided to take your health and productivity more seriously and you got yourself a new height adjustable desk or an ergonomic office chair? Let your employer reimburse you for it. An amount up to $500 that you receive from your employer will be tax-free. You can also claim any home office equipment including a computer.

For more details visit Home office expenses for employees – Canada.ca

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