December 22

Working From Home


Working from home
In the early 2000’s, we were meeting this new generation of clients who were (newly) self employed and had these ideas of what could and couldn’t be claimed. We often found that many of those ideas were based on CRA rules and practices from years previous, and more often than not based on things they’ve heard that were simply put, unrealistic.
Many of them had this idea that as a person who is self employed, they could claim almost ANY expense that they could link to their business on their approaching year income tax return. Sometimes, they were right. However, some of the receipts brought to us were so beyond the possibility of being considered a business expense that even attempting to claim it would most certainly compromise the integrity of not only the other expenses, but also the preparers we have on staff, and what we do as an organization.
However, that is not to say that as an organization we weren’t diligently mining for each and every dollar which that person was entitled to – because we were then and continue to be to this very day. But despite that, for the longest time, many of those new clients were stuck on what they had heard from their neighbour who told them that they can claim everything under the sun. That was until we would get their full refund, which was beyond their expectation as it included numerous credits that they weren’t even aware of.
The calls have already started. 2020 will forever be remembered in this country as the year that more Canadians worked from home that any recorded year in Canadian history. With this increase in individuals setting up a make shift office in their homes, many of these Canadians who are working from home for the first time have begun phoning our office asking us about what they can and can’t claim. More often than not, without knowing more about their situation, it is very difficult to offer an accurate answer, not to mention that with changing legislation and with the frequently introduced pandemic related programs … there are simply too many moving parts for one of our experts to provide a quick one-line answer to a question that is likely more complicated than it seems on the surface. But what the experts will offer, regardless of your financial situation, are some universal tips to consider when preparing your 2020 income tax claim if you worked from home since March 2019.

  • It is not just about finding the right form to have completed by your HR representative, it is about preparing that HR representative to complete it correctly, as to ensure it matches your expectations. The devil on this form are truly in the details…
  • Do you ever have clients or colleagues come to your home office for business related reasons? It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it can often determine how much of your home office expenses you can actually claim;
  • Do you recieve business related deliveries at your home office;
  • What have you spent out of pocket to:
    create your home office
    Successfully complete the tasks assigned to you (material, equipment, etc…);
  • What is the measurement of your home-office work space?
    More importantly, what is your work space? (example: If you are required you to drive your car to client’s locations, or to pick up or deliver work related materials, your driveway is now also considered part of your work space);

Other articles about working from home:

  • How much of your mortgage and heating bill can you claim if you work from home?
  • Can you claim a construction costs related to building or renovating home office space?


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