UBCBulletin Updates for leadership

Claiming home office expenses — updated CRA guidance

This message was sent to executive, deans and other senior academic leaders, academic heads, directors and managers, and senior professional leaders in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

25 January, 2021

Since March 2020, many faculty and staff have been working from home as a result of UBC’s response to COVID-19.

Some members of our community have asked whether UBC will be issuing the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) T2200 tax form, to enable the claiming of eligible home office expenses on personal income tax returns. Recognizing the special circumstances of the 2020 tax year, the CRA has announced two new ways employees may be able to claim home office expenses:

  • A new ‘Temporary Flat Rate Method’. The CRA has introduced this method for 2020 to allow employees to claim up to $2 per work day, to a maximum of $400, without the need to track detailed expenses.
  • The ‘Detailed Method’, including a new T2200S form. This option includes the existing practice of issuing T2200 forms to eligible employees, and the introduction of a new T2200S form. Both the T2200 and the T2200S require detailed receipts to substantiate all expense claims.
    • T2200: The T2200 is not new. It is a routine form issued to Canadians who are contractually obligated to work from home and pay for home office expenses. The majority of UBC employees do not qualify for this form.
    • T2200S: The T2200S is a new form for 2020. It is a simplified version of the T2200, and certifies that employees worked from home due to COVID-19 and had to pay their own home office expenses.

The university will proactively issue T2200S forms electronically to all UBC-employed faculty and staff, in time for the filing of personal tax returns. It will be up to each employee to self-determine which — if any — of the options for claiming home office expenses they should pursue, as well as the official details of their deductions. Employees are encouraged to consult with personal tax advisors as necessary.

Full information on home office expenses for Canadians, including changes for the 2020 tax year, is available on the CRA website.

Further information and resources for faculty and staff, including helpful FAQs, are available on the UBC Finance website.

Peter Smailes
Vice-President, Finance & Operations

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