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Home office expenses for employees

Expenses you can claim

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Temporary flat rate method

If you are using Temporary flat rate method , you do not need to determine your expenses to calculate your claim for home office expenses in 2020.

The temporary flat rate method is used to claim home office expenses that you paid like rent, electricity and home internet access fees, as well as office supplies like pens and paper, and cell phone minutes.

If you use the temporary flat rate method, you cannot claim any other employment expenses on line 22900 (for example motor vehicle expenses).

To determine if you are eligible, refer to: Eligibility criteria - Temporary flat rate method

Detailed method

If you are claiming the employment portion of actual amounts you paid, you use the Detailed method  to determine the amount of work-space-in-the-home expenses you can claim. You must separate the expenses between your employment use and non-employment (personal) use of your home.

To determine if you are eligible, refer to: Eligibility criteria - Detailed method

Work-space-in-the-home expenses

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can claim a portion of certain expenses related to the use of a work space in your home.

Commission employees who sell goods or negotiate contracts (typically have an income amount in box 42 on their T4 slip), can claim some expenses that salaried employees cannot.

Can be claimed

All salaried employees and commission employees can claim
  • electricity
  • heat
  • water
  • utilities portion (electricity, heat, and water) of your condominium fees Footnote 1
  • home internet access fees Footnote 2
  • maintenance and minor repair costs Footnote 3
  • rent paid for a house or apartment where you live Footnote 4
Commission employees can also claim
  • home insurance
  • property taxes
  • lease of a cell phone, computer, laptop, tablet, fax machine, etc. that reasonably relate to earning commission income

Cannot be claimed

Salaried employees and commission employees cannot claim

  • mortgage interest
  • principal mortgage payments
  • home internet connection fees
  • furniture
  • capital expenses (replacing windows, flooring, furnace, etc)Footnote 5
  • 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.

Although you can claim these expenses, they are not related to the physical work space in your home. They are claimed on a different section of Form T777S or Form T777.

Office supplies
What can be claimed
An item that is used up while directly performing your job
How much to claim
You can claim only the expense, or portion of the expense, you use for work

Common home office supplies

Common home office supplies
Item Can it be claimed?
Blue light
eye glasses
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Briefcase
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Calculator
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Capital cost
allowance
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Chair
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Charging or
connecting cables
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Coffee supplies
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Computer, laptop,
or tablet -
lease
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Computer, laptop,
or tablet -
purchase
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Computer, laptop,
or tablet -
cases or bag
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Computer, laptop,
or tablet -
protection plans
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Computer monitor
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Computer mouse
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Desk
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Electrical room
heater or
fan
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Envelopes
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Ergonomic examination
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Ergonomic foot
rest
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
External hardrive
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Fax machine -
lease
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Fax machine -
purchase
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Folders
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Garbage or
recycle bins
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Graphing equipment
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Headset or
headphones
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Highlighters
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
House-plants
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Ink cartridges
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Keyboard or
wireless keyboard
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Lamps
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Laptop stand
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Microphone
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Mouse pad
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Note-books
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Online subscriptions
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Paper clips
or
binder clips
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Paper shredder
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Pens or
pencils
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Power bar
or
surge protector
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Printer
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Printer paper
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Protective mat
for office
floor
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Router - purchase
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Safe, lock box,
or lock
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Scanner
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Smart speaker
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Software
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Speakers
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Speciality paper
(for example:
graph paper,
tracing paper)
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Specialized printer
(for example:
large scale,
high resolution)
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Stamps or
postage
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Stationery items
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Sticky notes
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Storage containers
or cabinets
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Television
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Toner
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
USB drive
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Voice assistant
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Webcam
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Phone
Cell phone
expenses
Item Can it be claimed?
Basic service
plan
(minutes / data)
  • Yes if all conditions are met | Salaried employees
  • Yes if all conditions are met | Commissioned employees

Conditions:

  • The cost of the plan is reasonable
  • The cost of the plan has been reasonably apportioned between employment and personal use
  • You are able to show the cellular minutes or data you consumed directly while performing your employment duties (as well as the cost of the minutes or data)
Cases
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Connection or
license fees
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Lease
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Protection plans
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Purchase
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees
Long distance
telephone calls
made for
work
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Land-line
phone expenses
Item Can be it claimed?
Long distance
telephone calls
made for work
  • Yes | Salaried employees
  • Yes | Commissioned employees
Monthly basic
home phone
(land-line)
rate
  • No  | Salaried employees
  • No  | Commissioned employees

Limitations on work-space-in-the-home expenses

The work-space-in-the-home expenses you can claim are limited when:

  • you work only a part of the year from your home:
    • You can only claim the expenses you paid in the part of the year you worked from home. You cannot claim the expenses you paid for the whole year.

      Example: Multiple periods working from home

      Working situation

      Kim worked from home from March 15 to May 31, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During these months, she worked exclusively from home and performed all of the duties that she normally performed at her employer’s office.

      Kim went back to the office full-time in June.

      Due to a second wave of COVID-19. Kim worked exclusively from home again in November and December.

      successful Result

      Because Kim mainly (more than 50% of the time) worked from home during one or more periods of at least a month (four consecutive weeks) in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (in this case, the first period was 11 weeks and the second period was 9 weeks), she may be able to claim the work-space-in-the-home expenses she paid for those periods if she meets the other conditions.

      • Period 1: 2020-03-15 to 2020-05-31
      • Period 2: 2020-11-01 to 2020-12-31
  • you have multiple income sources:
    • You can claim work-space-in-the-home expenses only from the income the expenses relate to, and not from any other income.
  • your expenses exceed your income:
    • The amount you can claim for work-space-in-the-home expenses is limited to the amount of employment income that is left after you have deducted all other employment expenses. This means that you cannot use work-space-in-the-home expenses to create or increase a loss from employment. If you cannot claim all your work-space-in-the-home expenses in the year, you can carry forward the expenses. You can claim these expenses in the next year as long as you are reporting income from the same employer. However, you cannot create or increase a loss from employment by carrying forward work-space-in-the-home expenses.
    • If you are a commission employee, you may not be able to claim your total work-space-in-the-home expenses if they exceed your commission income. To learn more, refer to: T4404 - Chapter 2 - Employees earning commission income

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