If you worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic it could land you some extra cash come tax time.
The Canada Revenue Agency has introduced a simplified process for Canadians to claim home office expenses on their 2020 personal income tax return.
Eligible employees can claim a flat-rate deduction of $2 for each day they worked from home, up to $400. Anyone who was forced to work from home at least half of the time for a minimum of four straight weeks is eligible.
There is an online calculator on the Government of Canada website that can help Canadians calculate their claims.
“The temporary flat rate method and the new user-friendly calculator will make it easier for more Canadians to claim the deductions,” said National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier in a statement.
Under the new simplified process employees will not need tax forms completed and signed by their employers.
Any employees who may have larger expenses can still use CRA’s existing home office deduction method. For those using the detailed method to calculate their home office expenses, the CRA has expanded the list of eligible expenses that can be claimed to include home internet access fees.
According to Statistics Canada about 2.4 million Canadians worked from home in October who normally do not but financially vulnerable workers and households with lower levels of education and earnings are least likely to have been able to work from home.
The Canadian Payroll Association is estimating that the new process will save employers more than $194 million.
With files from the Canadian Press.