Working from Home and the CRA Tax Form T2200
For SFU employees who have been asked to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are questions about the cost to maintain a home workspace and equipment, and the supplies needed to carry out their work remotely. Employees have asked if they will be eligible to claim employment expenses on their 2020 income tax form.
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) form T2200 Declaration of Conditions of Employment is completed by the employer to certify that an employee is required to work from home and that any employment expenses not reimbursed by the employer may be claimed on their annual tax return.
In normal times, most SFU employees do not qualify to claim employment expenses because the University provides the workspace and necessary equipment and supplies. However, expenses incurred by employees during the 2020 “stay home” directive may be eligible when filing a tax return for the 2020 calendar year required by April 30, 2021.
While the CRA has not announced any special tax provisions due to the pandemic, we expect that this will be addressed by the Canadian government. CRA is currently focused on the revised schedule for the 2019 filing, in addition to the emergency subsidy programs and the safety of their own employees.
In the meantime, SFU employees should retain receipts of all purchases necessary to perform their duties remotely. They should also note the square footage of the office area used and the total square footage of their residence, keeping track of home costs such as heating, hydro and water. These will be required if the tax rules allow employees to claim expenses incurred during the 2020 pandemic “stay home” directive.
Employees are reminded that Incidental supplies such as paper, printer ink, headsets, mouse, cables, microphones, and computer cameras may be purchased and claimed through the Business and Travel Claim process. Employees should check with their supervisors as to which items may be purchased, and whether there are limits on spending for a particular purchase. Receipts will be required in order to claim these expenses. Please note that non-expendable items purchased through this process are the property of the University.