The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has stated that updated forms to claim home office expenses for employees will be easier come tax-filing season this year.

"The updated form, which will be made available at the end of January 2024, along with other T1-related forms, will be easier to complete for employees who are only claiming a deduction for home office expenses," The CRA stated. 

Eligible employees who worked from home in 2023 will be required to use the detailed method to claim home office expenses. The temporary flat rate method does not apply to the 2023 tax year.

You can claim the following expenses:

  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Water
  • Utility portion (electricity, heat, and water) of your condominium fees
  • If your employer requires you to pay for office supplies or certain phone expenses, you may be able to claim those expenses.

Those eligible include, 'employees who are required to work from home and meet other conditions are eligible to claim a deduction for home office expenses.' This requirement does not have to be part of their employment contract and maybe a written or verbal agreement. However, there are several stipulations one needs to fulfill all of the following including:

  • You worked from home in 2020, 2021, or 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic or;
  • Your employer required you to work from home

"If you were not required to work from home, but your employer provided you with the choice to work at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then the CRA will consider you to have worked from home due to COVID-19." 

  • Your workspace is where you mainly (more than 50% of the time) work for at least four consecutive weeks in the year. The period can be longer than a month, or;
  • You only use your workspace to earn employment income. You also have to use it regularly and continually for meeting clients, customers, or other people while doing your work.

Expenses that can't be claimed include:

  • mortgage interest
  • principal mortgage payments
  • Home Internet connection fees
  • furniture
  • capital expenses (replacing windows, flooring, furnace, etc)
  • wall decorations

For most people, the 2022 return has to be filed on or before April 30, 2023, and payment is due April 30, 2023. The CRA is also reminding residents that filing their tax returns early or before the due date can help them avoid being charged interest and penalties and to prevent a disruption to their benefit and credit payments, including:

  • GST/HST credit, including any related provincial or territorial credits
  • Canada child benefit (CCB), including related provincial or territorial payments
  • Old age security (OAS) benefits

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