As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees of the University of Toronto have temporarily shifted to working from home. Employees in these circumstances have inquired whether they can deduct expenses for home office spaces and home office supplies on their 2020 personal income tax.
The University cannot advise employees on their personal income taxes, but we are writing to let you know that on December 15, 2020, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provided details on alternative methods that eligible employees can claim home office expenses on their personal income tax return for the 2020 tax year. To be eligible for home office expenses, an employee must have worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic more than 50% of the time for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020.
The options for claiming home office expenses provided by the CRA are outlined below.
Temporary Flat Rate Method
(No T2200S Required)
To learn more about this topic, including how to request Form T2200S prior to the deadline of 5:00 pm on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, please see Claiming home office expenses while working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic article on the HR Service Centre. Again, as the University cannot advise employees on their personal income taxes, we encourage employees to review the information CRA has published on their website pertaining to home office expenses for employees including expenses that can and cannot be claimed, an online calculator and frequently asked questions.
It is important for all employees who are interested in claiming a deduction for home office expenses to take the time to understand the allowances, seeking their own professional tax advice where necessary, to ensure they claim the appropriate expenses on their personal tax returns. The University does not take any responsibility for an employee’s claims on their personal income tax return.
If you have further questions on this topic, please contact CRA directly or enlist the services of a professional tax advisor. The University will only respond to questions regarding how to request the Form T2200S.