Did you know...
- You must make your RRSP contribution within the first 60 days of the current year for it to be deductible on your tax return for the previous year.
- You must file a federal and a provincial income tax return.
- You must retain any and all supporting documents for six years.
Tax deductions for employment expenses due to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the measures put in place to fight the spread of COVID-19, most businesses asked their employees to work from home. If you are one of these employees and you primarily worked from home for at least four weeks in a row in 2020, some telework-related expenses could be deducted from your tax return. There are two methods you can use: the temporary flat rate method and the detailed method.
The temporary flat rate method in a nutshell:
- Deduct $2 for each day you worked at home up to a maximum of $400
- No need to claim any actual expenses paid related to working from home
- No receipts for expenses are required
The detailed method in a nutshell:
- You must have received the T2200S or T2200 form signed by your employer
- Allows you to claim expenses for your office supplies and a reasonable portion of your home office expenses
- Eligible expenses include expenses for office supplies used within the context of your work (paper, ink, etc.) and a reasonable portion of utilities, internet access at home, rent payments for tenants (but not mortgage payments for owners) and maintenance and minor repair costs
- You cannot claim a deduction for expenses reimbursed by your employer
If you decide to use the detailed method, you will have to determine the size and use of the space you used for work in order to calculate the reasonable portion for the deduction. The website for the Canada Revenue Agency describes how to calculate this.
Employees who were already working at home as part of their employment contract before the pandemic are not eligible for these methods. These employees must fill out the usual forms for home office expenses.
What information do you need for your income tax return?
- Employment income (T4 and Relevé 1)
- RRSP contributions
- RRSP or RRIF withdrawals (T4RSP and T4RIF)
- Medical expenses (dentist, prescription drugs, eyewear, etc.)
- Charitable donation receipts
- Investment income (T5 and Relevé 5, T3 and Relevé 16, T5008 and Relevé 18)
- Political contributions (federal or provincial parties)
- Union and professional dues
- Federal and provincial notices of assessment from the previous year
- Employment insurance (T4E)
- Pension and annuity income (T4A/RL-2)
- Eligible student loan interest
- Deductible financial costs
Do you own or rent?
- Information about a Leased Dwelling (Relevé 31)
- Homebuyer’s credit (federal and provincial)
- Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) repayment
- Declaration of sale of a home
Do you have children?
- Amount transferred to an adult child for post-secondary education (provincial)
- Childcare receipts (Relevé 24)
- Revenu Québec advance childcare payments (Relevé 19)
- Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) (Relevé 6)
Are you self-employed?
Optimize your refund thanks to deductions and tax credits
There are several tax credits and possible deductions to help increase your tax refund. To discover the key ones, refer to our article titled How to optimize your tax refund.
A friendly tip
It’s a good idea to file taxes for all the members of your family at the same time. Why? Because deductions that don’t give any advantages to some people can be transferred to another member of your family who could benefit from them.
Need help filing your taxes?
If you have a low income or are not able to file your own income tax return, the Canada Revenue Agency trains volunteers across the country every year to help you. To find a volunteer near you, you can call 1-800-959-7383 or visit the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program website.