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Can you claim employment expenses?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to more Canadians working from home and potentially being eligible to claim employment expenses

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadian employers have implemented remote work policies, requiring their employees to work from home. While this arrangement provides benefits such as increased flexibility and reduced commuting costs, it also means that employees may be incurring expenses related to their work that they are not aware can be tax-deductible.

In this blog post, we will explore the tax deductions available to Canadian employees who are required to work from home.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) allows employees to claim certain expenses that they paid to earn employment income. However, in order to qualify for these deductions, the employer must have required the employee to work from home. If you meet this criterion, you may be able to claim some of the following expenses:

  • Home office expenses: This category includes expenses such as utilities, rent, and internet. The amount that you can claim depends on the portion of your home that you use for work, and the percentage of time that you use it for work. For example, if you use 5% of your home for work, you can claim 5% of the expenses associated with that space.

  • If you are a commissioned employee, you may also be able to claim home insurance and property taxes.

  • Phone used for employment: If you use your personal phone for work-related calls, you can claim a portion of your phone expenses as a tax deduction.

  • Office supplies: Any supplies that you purchase for work, such as pens, paper, and ink cartridges, can be claimed as a tax deduction.

  • Eligible vehicle expenses: If you use your personal vehicle for work-related travel, you can claim a portion of your vehicle expenses, such as gas and maintenance costs.

  • Employment travel: If your employer requires you to travel for work, you can claim expenses such as transportation and accommodation.

It is important to note that these deductions are subject to specific rules and limitations. For example, the CRA has strict guidelines for claiming home office expenses, and you must keep detailed records and receipts to support your claims.

If you are an employee claiming employment expenses, you should keep all your documents and receipts in case the CRA asks to see them at a later date, including a copy of Form T2200 (Declaration of Conditions of Employment) signed by your employer. This form confirms that you were required to work from home, and outlines the expenses that you are eligible to claim.

In conclusion, if you are a Canadian employee who has been required to work from home, it is important to be aware of the tax deductions that are available to you. By claiming these expenses, you can reduce your taxable income and potentially receive a larger tax refund. However, it is essential to follow the CRA's rules and keep accurate records to avoid any issues with your tax return.

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