Home Office Expense Deduction for 2020 Tax Year

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This page was last updated on February 16, 2021.

With so many people working from home in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canada Revenue Agency has streamlined the process to claim work expenses. You can apply one of two ways: a temporary flat-rate method (for this tax year only) or the traditional detailed method.

Simplified method for workspace in home expenses

You qualify to use this method if:

  • You worked from home in 2020 due to Covid-19;
  • For at least 4 consecutive weeks in 2020, more than 50% of your work was done from home;
  • You’re not claiming any other employment expenses; and
  • You are not reimbursed for all of your home office expenses.

The CRA allows for a claim of $2/day up to a maximum of $400 (200 days working from home) for each family member working from home. No employer certification is required, and no receipts are necessary.

Detailed workspace in home expenses

You qualify to use this method if:

  • You worked from home in 2020 due to Covid-19 or your employer required you to work from home;
  • For at least four consecutive weeks in 2020, more than 50% of your work was done from home;
  • You have a completed Form T2200S or Form T2200 signed by your employer (the T2200S allows only workspace in home expenses); and
  • The expenses claimed are used directly in your work.

The CRA requires the following additional information for this claim:

  • The size of your home, and the size of the work space (i.e. Detailed floor plan with accurate measurements);
  • The type of workspace used for work only; and the dimensions of that space; and
  • The hours per week you used the space for work.

Relevant expenses are;

  • Electricity, heat and water;
  • Minor repairs and maintenance (only related to your work area);
  • Rent (if a space is rented);
  • Internet access fees (no connection fees or rent of modems or routers; only the access fees).

NOTE: If you purchased items such as computers, desks, monitors, chairs, or printers, in order to work from home, the CRA considers these to be Capital Expenses and they do not qualify as workspace in home expenses.

For commission salespersons only,

  • Home insurance;
  • Property tax;
  • Lease of cell phones, computers, laptops, tablets, fax machines, etc.

To calculate:

Add allowable home costs for the period you worked from home, multiply by the workspace square feet and divide by the total floorspace in your home. Finally, multiply by the % of time the workspace was used for work (hours worked in the week, divided by 168 hours in a week).

In the majority of cases, when claiming workspace in the home for 2020, the simplified option will yield the best result.

For full details visit the CRA website here and the CRA Frequently asked questions here.