How do I calculate my home office expenses?

Whether you’re self-employed or a salaried/commissioned employee that works from home, you might be able to claim certain home office expenses on your return. Before you can claim them however, you’ll need to calculate how much of these expenses were related to your work.

First, gather all your receipts so that you can calculate the accurate cost of the expenses you incurred for your home during the year. This includes costs like heating, electricity, cleaning supplies, minor repairs, painting, and lighting accessories. You can also calculate what you paid for your landline and cellphone, as well as what you paid for internet services as long as these were used exclusively for work. For more information, see Statement of business or professional activities (T2125 and TP-80) if you’re self-employed or, if you’re a salaried or commissioned employee, refer to T777: Statement of Employment expenses.

Once you’ve calculated your expense amounts, you need to figure out how much space you used within your home to complete your work and what portion of the expense can be attributed to this space.

For example:

If your home is 1,000 square feet, and your home office measures 200 square feet, you’ll be able to claim an amount equal to 20% (200/1,000 = 20%) of your related expenses on your return.

Note: Unfortunately, there are certain expenses that a salaried employee can’t claim on their return. These include expenses like:

  • Property taxes
  • Mortgage interest
  • Capital cost allowance (CCA)

Commissioned employees are allowed to claim the cost of property tax and insurance, but like salaried employees aren’t able to claim mortgage interest or CCA.

If you don’t claim all the home office expenses that you’re entitled to in the year you paid them, you can claim them on next year’s return, provided that you’re still self-employed or still work for the same employer.

 

What if I rent an apartment? Can I still claim work-related expenses?

Yes. If your office is in an apartment (or in a house you rent), you can deduct the portion of your rent and maintenance costs that relate to the space that’s used for your office.

If your employer requires you to work from home, have them complete a T2200: Declaration of conditions of employment form for you; this document will list what expenses you need to pay for as a condition of your employment.

 

Where can I learn more?