There are two types of home office expenses that can be claimed:
  1. Home office expenses as a salaried employee or commission employee
  2. Business-use-of-home expenses for self-employed

Home Office Expenses

As an employee, you may be able to claim certain home office expenses (work-space-in-the-home expenses, office supplies, and certain phone expenses). This deduction is claimed on your personal income tax return. Deductions reduce the amount of income you pay tax on, so they reduce your overall income tax liability.

Who can claim the home office expenses?

As an employee, you can claim the actual expense amounts you paid (supported by documents) only if you have a completed and signed form T2200S/Form 2200 from your employer. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the government has introduced a temporary flat rate method that allows any employee who worked from home during 2020 to claim $ 2 for each day he/she worked from home, up to a maximum of $ 400.00. Under the temporary flat rate method, your employer is not required to complete and sign form 2200 and you are not required to keep any supporting documents. To be eligible, you must have worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to the Covid-10 pandemic.

In other words, if you do not have a T2200 form signed by your employer, you can claim $ 2 for each day you worked from home, up to a maximum of $ 400.00. But if you have a completed and signed form from your employer and you think your expenses would be higher than the amount allowed under the temporary flat rate method, then you should calculate them using the detailed method, otherwise, it would make more sense to use the flat rate method as you will no have to keep any supporting documents other than a log of days you worked from home.

What kind of expenses can be claimed?

Under the temporary flat rate method, you do not need to determine your expenses to calculate your claim for home office expenses in 2020.

Under the detailed method, the expenses must be prorated to the portion of the home dedicated to the employment. These include the following:

  • electricity
  • heat
  • water
  • utility portion of your condominium fees
  • home internet fees
  • maintenance and minor repair costs
  • rent paid for a house or apartment where you live
  • home insurance (commission employees only)
  • property taxes (commission employees only)
  • lease of a cell phone, computer, laptop, tablet, fax machine, that reasonably relate to earning commission income (commission employees only)

The following CANNOT be claimed:

  • mortgage interest
  • principal mortgage payments
  • furniture
  • capital expenses (replacing windows, flooring, furnace, etc)
  • wall decorations
Office supplies and phone expenses

If your employer requires you to pay for office supplies or certain phone expenses, you may be able to claim those expenses. Office Supplies such as envelopes, folders, pens or pencils, ink cartridges/toners, highlighters, notebooks, paper or binder clips, printing paper, stamps sticky notes and other stationery items can be claimed. The telephone related expenses must be reasonably apportioned between employment and personal use.

Business-use-of-home expenses

You can deduct expenses for the business use of a workspace in your home, as long as you meet one of the following conditions:

  • it is your principal place of business
  • you use the space only to earn your business income, and you use it on a regular and ongoing basis to meet your clients, customers, or patients

What kind of expenses can be claimed?

The expenses that can be claimed include the following:

  • electricity
  • heat
  • water
  • home insurance
  • maintenance
  • mortgage interest
  • property taxes
  • home internet fees
  • rent paid for a house or apartment where you live

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