CRA Extends Home Office Claim to 2021

For the 2021 and 2022 tax years, employees working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be able to claim up to a maximum of $500 using the simplified temporary flat rate method, to calculate their home office expenses. This is an increase over the $400 maximum for 2020

The new temporary flat rate method simplifies your claim for home office expenses. You can claim $2 for each day you worked from home during that period plus any additional days you worked at home in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To use this simplified temporary flat rate method, you must meet all of the following conditions:

  •   You worked from home in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  •   You worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least 4 consecutive weeks in 2021
  •    You are only claiming home office expenses and not any other employment expenses (e.g. training, meals, travel, supplies etc)
  •    You are not eligible if your employer reimbursed you for working at home

To make this claim you add up the number of days that you worked from home on a full time basis or a part time basis. You cannot count vacation days, sick leave, days off or other days of absence when you did not work.

You can also make a detailed claim, which requires getting a form T2200S or T2200 from your employer confirming that you worked from home more than 50% of the time, that you were not reimbursed for any home office expenses, and that you were required to pay out of your own pocket for various things such as rent, utilities, home internet, home insurance, travel, training, office supplies and other expenses directly related to your work.

We have found that most of our clients ask us to explore both methods to see which is better for their circumstances. In many cases, the detailed method provides a higher deduction, subject to the following:

  •   If you are a home owner, you should be aware that you cannot claim mortgage interest or property taxes
  •   You must get your employer to sign form T2200. That form is not submitted with the tax return but should be held in a file in case the CRA asks for it.

Please call us at 604 558 2234 to ask questions and ask which method might be better for you.