The Canada Revenue Agency has adjusted the rules in a bid to make millions of Canadians who are currently working from home eligible for a tax deduction.
Under the new rules, Canadians that spent over 50 percent of their time working from home over a period of a minimum of four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to the pandemic are now eligible for the deduction.
Qualified employees that opt for the deduction can claim $2 for every day they worked from home during the period and any other days they worked from home owing to the pandemic, up to at most of $400. Their employers however will not have to sign any special form.
Over one person at the same address can also claim the tax deduction in as much as each one qualifies for it.
Though the temporary simplified deduction is applicable to the 2020 tax year, a lot of Canadian workers have been informed they can work from home for many more months. Officials of CRA have said they expected the number of people who work from home to increase in the future but they have not yet decided whether the simplified deduction will continue next year.
Canadians that claim the simplified work from home tax deduction won’t be able to claim expenses that are related to using their vehicles for work while those with larger claims for home office expenses can use the existing method to claim a deduction.
The CRA has also expanded the list of expenses that qualify for the detailed working-from-home deduction and will accept home internet access fees as a deduction.
According to Statistics Canada’s survey, 2.4 million Canadians that don’t normally work from home did so in October. In mid-April, during the height of the pandemic induced lockdown, Statistics Canada reported that 3.3 million Canadians had started working from home due to COVID-19.
Revenue Minister Diane LeBouthillier revealed in a statement that the deductions would be easier to claim by the short-term flat rate method of claiming the working-from-home deduction and the calculator.
She wrote: “The government of Canada remains committed to helping Canadians cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by making the home expenses deduction more accessible and easier to claim.”