Skip to content

New tax form for working from home

Talk to your accountant about the T2200S form
Taxes graphic
If you have had to work from home and have incurred expenses not covered by your employer you are eligible to claim them. Talk to your accountant about the different between the T2200 and T2200S to maximize your returns.

ATHABASCA - It can be tricky filing taxes at the best of times — trying to ensure you and your business get the maximum refund possible — and now with the additional strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and having to work from home, you need to be aware of the new T2200S form from Revenue Canada. 

Karen Gibson, an accountant with Peterson Walker LLP Chartered Accountants in Athabasca, took some time last week to explain the new Declaration of Conditions of Employment for Working at Home Due to COVID-19, also known as a T2200S form. 

“(It is) exclusively for those who are working at home due to COVID and you had expenses while you were at home only,” she explained, adding that if you had other expenses because of COVID or having to do anything else out of your home then you still fill out the T2200. 

For the T2200S, Gibson explained the types of expenses that can be claimed are for things needed to work at home, but are not reimbursed by your employer — like if you had to upgrade your Internet or buy office supplies out-of-pocket, and even then, only a portion of the upgrade or supplies. 

“If you were reimbursed, then there's no deduction that you can claim because if your employer paid for it, there's nothing you can get because you were already compensated for it,” she said.  

There is also a third version to claim home office expenses, which is simply a flat rate of $2 per day to a maximum of $400 if you were working from home, but you had to have worked from home for at least four weeks consecutively and at least 50 per cent of the time in the home. 

“And most people won't get that unless you literally worked from home basically starting whenever they sent everybody home sometime in March going forward," said Gibson. “So, you'd have to have basically been working from home since March in order to get the full $400.” 

To use the T2200 and T2200S, your employer has to verify you were working from home and that you had to incur the expenses, the flat rate does not need employer verification. 

“The T2200S and the T2200 need your employer to sign the form,” she said. 

A lot of people, especially ones who work on commission or travel to meet clients outside the office regularly will be familiar with the T2200, the S is temporary due to the pandemic. 

Form, or not to form? 

Basically, you can claim the flat rate if: 

  • You worked from home due to the pandemic. 

  • You used a workspace in your home for at least 50 per cent of the time for four consecutive weeks. 

  • You were required to pay at least some home office expenses. 

  • You are claiming any other employment deductions. 

This is the best situation if you do not have receipts or prefer a straightforward approach. It may also be the best choice for spouses who share the same home office. 

The T2200 or T2200S are best if: 

  • You were sent home to work by your employer due to the pandemic. 

  • You used a work space in your home for at least 50 per cent of the time for four consecutive weeks. 

  • You were required to pay at least some home office expenses and if you were reimbursed it was only partially. 

  • You received a signed T2200 or T2200S from your employer. 

There is no maximum you can claim other than it cannot exceed employment income for the year. 

Full deductions include paper, toner, pens, staples, stapler, et cetera, that are required to perform your employment duties and are not reimbursed. 

You can claim a portion of your home utilities, Internet fees, rent, maintenance and minor repairs. If you work on commission you can also claim home insurance and property taxes. 

Which one to choose? 

If you are only deducting office supplies and home office expenses you can use the T2200S. 

If you are deducting offices supplies, home office expenses and additional work-from-home expenses such as your vehicle or rent and you would normally work at home despite COVID-19, then you can fill out the T2200. 

“It’s not straightforward,” Gibson said. “And it gets complicated very, very fast.” 

Be sure to speak to your accountant to help you navigate these forms and ensure you get your maximum claim.