New Tax Deduction for Canadians Working From Home
By: Shaan Syed

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Canadians to work from home, many people are wondering which home office expenses may be deductible for tax purposes.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has introduced a simplified temporary flat rate deduction available for individuals working from home.

Criteria under the new simplified “Temporary Flat Rate Method”:

  • Form T777S has been introduced to simplify the process
  • The simplified flat rate deduction applies to the Temporary Flat Rate Method (Option 1) on the new Form T777S
  • Individuals are eligible if they were working from home for more than 50% of the time for at least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Individuals can claim $2 for each day they worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, up to a maximum of $400
  • Employees will not be required to calculate the size of their workspace, keep supporting documents, or obtain a signed Form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment, or the simplified Form T2200S from their employer
  • Multiple residents of the same address can claim the deduction, provided that each claimant is eligible
  • Individuals claiming a deduction for home office expenses using the Temporary Flat Rate Method cannot claim any other employment-related expenses

For individuals with larger claims for home office expenses, the traditional detailed method is also available with a new simplified process as well.

Criteria under the “Detailed Method”:

  • Two new simplified forms (T2200S and T777S) have been made available for claimants
  • Individuals are still required to obtain a completed and signed form from their employer
  • Simplified process:
    • Individuals can complete Form T777S (Option 2) and obtain their employer’s signature on Form T2200S; or
  • Traditional process:
    • Individuals can complete Form T777 and obtain their employer’s signature on Form T2200
  • The CRA also expanded the list of eligible expenses for the home office deduction, which now includes home internet access

Below is a list of common eligible expenses for the home office deduction:

  • rent paid for a house or apartment where you live
  • electricity, water, heat, or the utilities portion of your home office or condominium fees
  • maintenance such as minor repairs, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, paint, etc.
  • home internet access fees
  • office supplies such as stationery items, pens, folders, sticky notes, postage, toners, ink cartridges, etc.
  • employment use of a basic cell phone service plan
  • long distance calls for employment purposes

For a more detailed list and further information, please visit www.canada.ca/cra-home-workspace-expenses

Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to tax@prasadcpa.com and one of our tax specialists would be happy to provide a tax-planning consultation tailored to your specific needs.