For those who are fortunate enough to continue working, you’re likely doing so from home. Other than the benefits of gaining commuting time back to spend with the family and the savings in commuting costs (i.e. fuel, transit, parking, etc.), are you missing out on any other benefits?
According to the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”), you may be entitled to deduct certain expenses from your income while working from home.
In order to be eligible, your employer must complete a form (T2200) to confirm that you are personally paying expenses to perform the duties of your job from home. Now, start keeping track of expenses that relate to your work space. The most notable will be your utility bills (i.e. electricity, heating, etc.). However, you can also deduct property tax, maintenance (to the work space area) home insurance premiums and internet/communications costs. This is not an exhaustive list. I suggest referring to the CRA web-site for more details.
Remember, you can only deduct a percentage of these expenses, and it is prorated to the time that you were working from home. The percentage is based on the size of your work space relative to the size of your home.
For example, if your office/work space at home is 200 square feet and your home (finished area) is 2,000 square feet, then you can deduct 10% of the eligible expenses. As well, if you started working from home on April 1st, then you can only include 75% of this amount (i.e. April – December expenses). You can include 100% of this amount if you were working from home for the entire calendar year.
We know that the COVID will end in due time, so while we are in living in this pandemic, we ought to use the benefits that are available to us.