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Home office expenses for employees

Eligibility criteria - Temporary flat rate method

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Eligibility criteria

Each employee working from home who meets the eligibility criteria can use the temporary flat rate method to calculate their deduction for home office expenses.

To use this method to claim the home office expenses you paid, you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • What if you chose to work from home

    If you were not required to work from home, but your employer provided you with the choice to work at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then:

    • the CRA will consider you to have worked from home due to COVID-19
  • Refer to: COVID-19 examples

  • What if your employer has reimbursed you for some of your home office expenses

    You can still use the temporary flat rate method, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

You need to meet all of the above conditions to be eligible to use the Temporary flat rate method

COVID-19 examples

Alternating working from home and the office

Working situation

Kumi worked from home from April 1 to May 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During these months, she worked exclusively from home and performed all the duties that she normally performed at her employer’s office. Kumi went back to the office full-time on June 1, 2020, but worked from home for five days each month for the rest of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting in August.

successful Result

Because Kumi worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least a month (4 consecutive weeks) in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (in her case, almost nine consecutive weeks), she is eligible to claim expenses related to her work space in 2020.

If Kumi chooses to use the temporary flat rate method, she can claim home office expenses for 66 days in 2020. This is the total number of days she worked from home in April and May 2020, plus the 5 days she worked from home each month between August and December 2020.

Kumi can also choose to use the detailed method to claim work-space-in-the-home expenses in 2020. Using the detailed method, Kumi can claim the expenses she paid for the period when she worked from home for at least a month (between April 1 and May 31, 2020) if she meets the other conditions. Kumi cannot claim work-space-in-the-home expenses for the 25 days she worked from home between August and December 2020 because she did not work more than 50% of the time from home during that period.

Working situation

Emma worked from home from April 1 to October 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During these months, she worked an alternating schedule of three weeks at home and one week in the office. During the weeks Emma worked from home, she performed all the duties she normally performed at her employer’s office. On the weeks she worked from home, she did not take any vacations and did not claim any sick days.

successful Result

Because Emma worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least a month (4 consecutive weeks) in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (in her case, a period of 31 consecutive weeks), she is eligible to claim expenses related to her work space in 2020.

If Emma chooses to use the temporary flat rate method, she can claim home office expenses for 113 days in 2020. This is the total number of days she worked from home in 2020 (April 1 to October 31).

Emma can also choose to use the detailed method to claim the work-space-in-the-home expenses she paid for that period (April 1 to October 31) if she meets the other conditions.

Working part-time from home

Working situation

Jason is a part-time employee who works three days a week. From March 16 to July 31, 2020, Jason worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During those weeks, he performed all of the duties that he normally performed at his employer’s office.

successful Result

Because Jason worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least a month (4 consecutive weeks) in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (in his case, a period of 20 consecutive weeks), he is eligible to claim expenses related to his work space in 2020.

If Jason chooses to use the temporary flat rate method, he can claim home office expenses for the 60 days he worked from home in 2020. This is the total number of days he worked from home (3 days each week from March 16 to July 31).

Jason can also choose to use the detailed method to claim the work-space-in-the-home expenses he paid for that period (March 16 to July 31) if he meets the other conditions.

Working from home for less than four consecutive weeks

Working situation

Isaac worked from home for three weeks beginning on March 16, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During these three weeks, he worked exclusively from home and performed all the duties he normally performed at his employer’s office. After the three-week period, Isaac returned to his employer’s office for the rest of 2020 to perform all of his employment duties.

unsuccessful Result

Because Isaac did not work from home for a period of at least a month (4 consecutive weeks) in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (in his case, he worked from home for a period of only three consecutive weeks), he is not eligible to claim expenses related to his work space in 2020.

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