Claiming home office expenses on your 2020 taxes

University employees who’ve been working remotely since last March are eager to learn how working from home could translate into a 2020 tax deduction.

The Canada Revenue Agency has simplified how individuals can claim home office expenses if they have worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employees who worked from home more than 50% of the time over a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to the pandemic will be eligible to claim home office expenses for 2020.

For the many staff and faculty who’ve never before qualified for this deduction because their work has always been on site, McMaster’s Human Resources team is aiming to make this process as simple as possible with tools, templates and resources to help employees do just that.

The Human Resources payroll website now outlines the two methods to calculate expenses –

(1) a flat rate for each day worked from home, or
(2) a more detailed method that requires one of two specific tax forms (T2200S or T2200) and some additional calculations.

The flat rate method does not require any additional documentation from employers and maxes out at a $400 deduction, whereas the detailed method allows individuals to claim more eligible expenses but requires supporting documentation and a form provided by employers.

The T2200S tax forms will be prepared for eligible employees and emailed by March 31, 2021.

Individuals do not need to submit the T2200S form when filing their taxes electronically but retain in the event they are asked to produce by Canada Revenue Agency.

“Our goal was to simplify this process as much as possible for our colleagues. 2020 was complicated enough,”says Michelle Jubinville, Senior Manager, Payroll Services, Tax and Data Compliance.

Employees can also find detailed information including a Home Office Expenses Overview Guide, Expenses Calculation template, and Frequently Asked Questions related to T2200s and T4s on McMaster’s Payroll website.

KPMG will host a webinar for McMaster employees on March 2, 2021 to address any questions. Employees must register as space is limited, and the session will be recorded and posted for those who are unable to attend.

Questions can be directed to your HR representative or contact the HRSC at