Did you work from home for your employer during the Covid-19 pandemic? Whether it was your employer’s choice, or yours, you can claim home office expenses, and we’ll explain what you need to do so!
The Canada Revenue Agency has implemented two methods (Temporary Flat Rate and the Detailed Method) that you can use to claim your home office expenses. Keep in mind that both of these methods require slightly different eligibility criteria and calculations.
The amount is a substitute for actual home office expenses paid by the employee, such as rent, electricity, home internet access fees, office supplies (e.g., pens, paper) and unreimbursed cell phone costs.
This type of method allows eligible employees to claim a deduction of $2.00 for each day they worked at home in 2020 due to COVID-19, up to $400.00.
Employees choosing the temporary method do not need to have their employers complete and sign a Form T2200 or T2200S, although they should do their best to document how many days they worked at home.
Employees must use the Form T777S, “Statement of Employment Expenses for Working at Home Due to COVID-19” to report that they are using a flat rate method and calculate their deduction.
Employees who worked at home before the pandemic should follow the detailed method for claiming a deduction for 2020.
Qualifying employees using the detailed method must first determine the total of their eligible expenses overall. They must then prorate these expenses (excluding office supplies) based on the portion of their home use for employment.
The CRA has confirmed the employer’s requirement for an employee to work from home may be written or verbal agreement. It does not have to be part of the employment contract. In addition, where an employee could choose whether to work from home due to COVID-19, the CRA still considers them to have worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.