MATCO MARKET INSIGHTS - PANDEMIC FINANCIAL PLANNING – CLAIMING HOME OFFICE EXPENSES THROUGH COVID-19

MATCO MARKET INSIGHTS – PANDEMIC FINANCIAL PLANNING; CLAIMING HOME OFFICE EXPENSES THROUGH COVID-19


Working from home has become a regular occurrence through 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic.  Adoption of the home office has been a difficult transition for some companies and seamless for others. Working from home has reached a point for some companies with productivity at highs and more of a focus on work-life balance, that the prospect of moving back to a full-time office may never happen. 

As outlined by the CRA, one of the following two conditions must be met to claim home office expenses:

•   The workspace is where you mainly (more than 50% of the time) do your work.

•    You use the workspace only to earn your employment income. You also must use it on a regular and continuous basis for meeting clients, customers, or other people in the course of your employment duties.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-229-other-employment-expenses/salaried-employees/work-space-home-expenses.html

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees may have satisfied the first condition - their home office has been the main workspace (over 50% of their work time).  With many offices shutting down and forcing work from home protocols at the start of the pandemic in March, and some offices not set to open until 2021, much of the work-time of 2020 has been from home. 

If you feel you may be eligible to write off home expenses due to your home office, you should talk to your employer ASAP.  Form T2200, Declaration of conditions of employment will be needed for your 2020 tax return in order to claim home expenses.  Once you secure the T2200 you should also consult your accountant to understand the eligibility and calculation of expenses eligible for your tax return.

Tom Stachiw, CIM
Portfolio Manager

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