For many Canadians, the transition to working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a whirlwind. You've spent more time in your homes than ever before, and there are a lot of questions regarding how this may impact you when the time comes to once again file your taxes.
At TurboTax, we're here to help. We've created this comprehensive guide to employment expenses in the age of COVID, helping you to sort out all the details so you can focus on the things that really matter. We'll show you the who, what, when, where and how of claiming employment expenses, and are there to offer you support every step of the way.
You may be eligible to claim certain expenses incurred as a result of your employment on your tax return(s). These are expenses that you would otherwise not have had to cover outside of their relation to your work. This can apply to self-employed individuals, as well as those forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A list of common employment expenses can include things such as:
- Rent paid
- Electricity and other utilities, or portions of condo fees
- Home internet fees
- Office supplies
- Long distance calls (if made on behalf of your employ or for business purposes)
- Use of basic cell phone plan
Additionally, those who earn commission as a portion of their income may also claim:
- Property taxes
- Home insurance
- Lease of electronic equipment (cell phone, computer, laptop, tablet, fax machine, etc) that relate to earning income
Salaried and commissioned employees who worked from home (50% or more of the time for at least 4 consecutive weeks), due to COVID-19, are eligible to claim home office expenses on their 2020 tax return.
More information and details can be found on the CRA website.
To claim employment expenses related to COVID-19, you will need to fill out a T777-s form - Statement of Employment Expenses for Working at Home Due to COVID-19.
If you claim for employment expenses is in excess of $400, you will also need to complete a T2200-s Declaration of Conditions of Employment for Working at Home Due to COVID-19.
Eligible salaried and commissioned employees who reside in Quebec should complete the TP-59.S-V form to claim their employment expenses.
Eligible employees may claim a flat rate of $2 for each day that they worked at home during a consecutive 4-week period, plus any other days they were forced to work from home in 2020 due to COVID-19 (up to a maximum of $400). You don’t need supporting documents to claim the flat rate.
If your claim is in excess of $400, a T2200-s form must be completed, signed, and approved by your employer. The CRA has provided a calculator to aid in calculating and filling out these expenses on your form.