Community Update #21 - Claiming Work from Home Expenses due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

In consideration of the global pandemic and the COVID-19 imposed restrictions requiring York University to move to remote work operations for the majority of faculty and staff for a period now exceeding six months, it is very likely that employees required to work remotely may have incurred some expenses that were not eligible to be reimbursed by the University. These expenses may be eligible to claim for 2020 income tax purposes specific to work-space-in-the-home expenses, according to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

As many employees nationwide were directed to work from home in March 2020, the usual requirement of a T2200 tax form to claim work-space-in-the-home expenses became a nationwide topic which the government has recently addressed.

The federal government's fall economic statement, released on November 30th, announced a streamlined approach for claiming work-from-home expenses for both employees and employers. Employees working from home due to the imposed Covid-19 restrictions with "modest expenses" will be able to claim up to $400 in the 2020 tax year without the need to track detailed expenses nor require the employer to confirm the status of employees by completing a T2200 form for each remote worker who would have otherwise reported to work.

As such, a T2200 will not be required to claim eligible expenses for the majority of York employees.

We recognize that there may be some specific cases where an employee’s terms and conditions of employment required them to work from home and incur expenses in excess of $400 to perform their duties that will not be reimbursed by the University. For these few employees who may meet the eligibility requirements requiring the issuance of a T2200[i], further details will be communicated and made available on the Employee Resources page of YU Link by mid-January 2021.

Wishing you a safe and restful holiday season.

Mary Catherine Masciangelo
AVP, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer

[i]T2200 Declaration of Conditions of Employment is a tax form completed by employers to describe expenses employees have incurred without reimbursement, related to the terms and conditions of their employment. With this tax form, employees may be eligible to claim these expenses on their annual CRA tax return