Since our article “COVID-19 | Home Office Expenses: What You Should Know” and because of the COVID-19 crisis, both the federal and Quebec governments have put in place simplified procedures to be able to claim home office expenses.
Normally, employers are required to complete detailed federal and Quebec forms that give their employees the right to claim employment expenses. To ease the administrative burden on your employer, if you worked from home due to COVID-19 and are not claiming other employment expenses, the federal government has introduced a simplified version, form T2200S, that replaces the more detailed form.
Although Quebec did not introduce a simplified version there is a new section, 3.6, on standard form TP-64.3. This is the only section that needs be completed if the only expenses to be deducted are expenses incurred related to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 26, 2021, Revenu Quebec introduced a new online service to help employers complete multiple copies of the form for employees working at home.
As well, it is no longer a precondition that your employer requires you to work from home. Rather, you will be entitled to claim the deduction if your employer has simply given you the option of working from home.
For 2020 exceptionally, there will be two alternate methods to calculate the deduction, the standard proration of eligible expenses in which case you will need the signed simplified form from your employer, or a flat rate of $2 for each day you worked from home to a maximum of $400 per year (200 working days), in which case your employer will not have to supply you with a signed form. If more than one family member is working from home, each can make a separate claim for up to $400 without having to keep track of actual expenses. To use either method, you must have worked from home 50% of the time for at least four consecutive weeks.
The method chosen will depend on each person’s particular circumstances. In many cases, especially if there are multiple workers in one household, the simplified method will likely prove more advantageous.
Revenu Quebec recently released an online calculator to help employees determine which method would be more advantageous to them. You can access this calculator by clicking here.
Do not hesitate to contact one of our advisors if you have any questions about home office expenses eligibility and calculation.