2021 Work Space in the Home Expenses

On January 18, 2022, CRA published additional commentary with respect to claims for workspace in the home expenses on personal income tax and benefit returns.

The additional commentary includes an explanation of how spouses who both worked from home in 2021 each calculate their work space in the home expenses using the detailed method.

Temporary Flat Rate Method

The temporary flat rate method, which was new for 2020 tax returns, has been extended for personal tax returns for the 2021 and 2022 tax years. Eligible individuals can claim a simplified expense of $2 per work day (up to $500) on their 2021 and 2022 tax returns.

Work days include days that you worked full-time or part-time hours from home either due the requirement of your employer or voluntarily if your employer gave the option to work from home due to the pandemic. You must have worked from home more than 50% of the time for at least 4 consecutive weeks during the pandemic to be eligible and you are not claiming any other employment expenses on line 22900.

You do not need to calculate the size of your workspace, keep supporting documents, or obtain a signed Form T2200S or Form T2200, from your employer to use this method.

The temporary flat rate method is not available if claims are being made for other employment expenses, such as vehicle expenses, or if your employer reimbursed all of your home office expenses. If your employer reimbursed some but not all home office expenses, you are still eligible to use this method.

Optional Detailed Method

The optional detailed method for home office expenses allows you to claim expenses you paid for the period you worked from home. Eligibility for the detailed method is similar to the flat rate method with the additional requirements that you obtain a completed signed Form T2200S, or Form T2200, from your employer and the expenses claimed are used directly in your work during the period.

The CRA has also published a list of home office expenses for employees and guidance on how to determine your work space use.

If you are expecting to make a claim on your 2021 personal tax return using the detailed method, you should reach out to your employer to ensure you get a signed T2200S.  In addition, all supporting invoices should be kept to support the claim under the detailed method.  To make a claim on your 2021tax return, please complete Form T777S summarizing the home office expenses you incurred during the year.

The CRA has posted eligibility criteria under each method mentioned above to help determine who can claim this benefit.

If you would like our assistance in deciding which method is best for you, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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