Are you working from home – what expenses can be claimed?

Work-space-in-the-home expenses

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can claim a portion of certain expenses related to the use of a workspace in your home as follows:

  • Expenses you paid that relate to the work space as well as other areas of the home. You can claim the percentage of those expenses that relate to the work space.
  • Expenses related to the work space only. You can claim the total amount of the expenses if the amount paid is reasonable.
  • Expenses related to a part of the house that you did not use as a work space. You cannot claim any part of those expenses.

Can be claimed:

All salaried employees and commission employees can claim:
  • electricity
  • heat
  • water
  • utilities portion (electricity, heat, and water) of your condominium fees 
  • home internet access fees 
  • maintenance and minor repair costs 
  • rent paid for a house or apartment where you live 
Commission employees can also claim:
  • home insurance
  • property taxes
  • lease of a cell phone, computer, laptop, tablet, fax machine, etc. that reasonably relate to earning commission income

Cannot be claimed:

  • mortgage interest
  • principal mortgage payments
  • home internet connection fees
  • furniture
  • capital expenses (replacing windows, flooring, furnace, etc)Footnote5
  • wall decorations

Office supplies and phone expenses

If your employer requires you to pay for office supplies or certain phone expenses, you may be able to claim those expenses.

Although you can claim these expenses, they are not related to the physical work space in your home. They are claimed on a different section of Form T777S or Form T777

Limitations on work-space-in-the-home expenses

The work-space-in-the-home expenses you can claim are limited when:

  • you work only a part of the year from your home:
    • You can only claim the expenses you paid in the part of the year you worked from home. You cannot claim the expenses you paid for the whole year.Example: Multiple periods working from home
  • you have multiple income sources:
    • You can claim work-space-in-the-home expenses only from the income the expenses relate to, and not from any other income.
  • your expenses exceed your income:
    • The amount you can claim for work-space-in-the-home expenses is limited to the amount of employment income that is left after you have deducted all other employment expenses. This means that you cannot use work-space-in-the-home expenses to create or increase a loss from employment. If you cannot claim all your work-space-in-the-home expenses in the year, you can carry forward the expenses. You can claim these expenses in the next year as long as you are reporting income from the same employer. However, you cannot create or increase a loss from employment by carrying forward work-space-in-the-home expenses.
    • If you are a commission employee, you may not be able to claim your total work-space-in-the-home expenses if they exceed your commission income. T