Information for the Defence Team about claiming remote work expenses at tax time

January 28, 2021 - Defence Stories

Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, many Defence Team members shifted to working remotely and have retrieved regular office equipment and supplies. Some others have had to purchase specific items to ensure that work duties can continue to be performed remotely in the most effective way possible.

Details about how to go about this, including the claimable amounts and the process in general, were outlined in previous communiques and CANFORGENS in September and November of last year.

As a reminder, Supervisors have the discretion to determine what should be reimbursed for Defence Team members with receipts up to $300 for out of pocket expenses from March 13, 2020, and March 31, 2021. And up to $500 may be approved in extenuating circumstances with L1 approval and accountability to the Deputy Minister/Chief of Defence Staff. Since then, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has clarified the eligibility and methodology for workers wishing to claim their remote work expenses at tax time.

Taxpayers may choose either to use a temporary flat rate method, whereby no receipts or supervisor signature is required, or a detailed method that requires employees to substantiate expenses with receipts and must have the form T2200 signed by the employer, which at National Defence, means the delegated manager. The CRA has posted details on eligibility and the necessary forms and guidance regarding each method. The CRA has also provided an online calculator to assist taxpayers, including public servants, in deciding which claim process to use.  

It is important to note, however, that if you request and are approved to receive a reimbursement prior to filing your tax return, you will not also be eligible for a tax credit from CRA for those items.

Please consult the CRA’s website and contact the CRA’s General Enquiries line if you have any questions.

More useful information can be found on the Working Remotely page, part of the Defence Team Covid-19 web presence.

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