Home Office Expenses for Remote Employees

Employment Law | February 28, 2023

As many businesses continue to utilize hybrid and remote offices, it is crucial for employees to understand the expenses they can claim when working from home. If an employer is not reimbursing their employees for certain costs, employees can claim eligible expenses to ensure that they are getting every tax credit they can. At Linley Welwood, we understand the complexities of remote and hybrid work environments, especially when it comes to policies and expenses. That is why our employment lawyers have provided a list of home office expenses for remote employees to help workers understand what they are legally entitled to. Please note that this information applies to both salaried and commission-based employees, though there are some distinctions between each type of employee.

Learn about the legal rights of commission-based employees.

Who Can Claim These Expenses?

First, it is crucial to understand who can claim the expenses listed below. Employees are eligible to deduct home office expenses if:

  • They have worked more than 50% of their work hours from home for at least 4 consecutive weeks.
  • They can provide proof that these expenses were directly related to their work if requested.
  • Their expenses have not and will not be reimbursed by their employer.

Eligible Home Office Expenses

When working from home, employees can claim the following office expenses:

  • Rent paid for a house, apartment, or other living space.
  • Electricity, heat, water, or the “utility” portion of their strata fees.
  • Home internet access fees.
  • Maintenance costs for minor repairs, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, and other small items.
  • Costs for supplies such as pens, paper, folders, postage, printer ink, and toner.
  • Costs associated with business use of a basic cell phone service plan.
  • Costs for long-distance calls that were made for work-related purposes.

Commission-based employees can also claim the following expenses:

  • Home insurance costs
  • Property taxes
  • The lease of a cell phone, computer, laptop, or other device that is reasonably related to earning commission income.

Ineligible Home Office Expenses

The following expenses cannot be claimed when working from home:

  • Capital cost allowances.
  • Mortgage interest.
  • Principal mortgage payments.
  • Fees related to the rental/lease of an internet router.
  • Capital expenses for replacing windows, flooring, furnaces, and other items.
  • Office equipment such as printers, fax machines, laptop cases, briefcases, etc.
  • Monthly fees for landline phones.
  • The purchase price of computer accessories such as monitors, mice, keyboards, headsets, speakers, webcams, and microphones.
  • The cost of other electronic devices such as televisions and smart devices.
  • The purchase of furniture items such as desks, chairs, couches, and tables.

To learn more about the laws related to working from home or to inquire about our employment law services, get in touch with the experts at Linley Welwood. We can be reached at 604-850-6640 and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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