Employees working from home: Home office

The COVID⁠-⁠19 pandemic has changed how Quebecers work, with many employees now working from home part-time or full-time. This page explains two different methods for calculating your expenses and shows you how to claim the deduction.

Simon is a salaried employee and he worked from home because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 pandemic

Simon is a salaried employee. In 2020, while working from home because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 pandemic, he incurred expenses that were not reimbursed by his employer. Is there some way he can be reimbursed?

Although his employer isn’t reimbursing him for his expenses, he’ll be able to claim a deduction when he does his taxes for 2020. Of course, he’ll have to meet the conditions. If he does, he’ll be able to deduct some of his expenses for working from home from the income that he has to pay tax on.

Q&A — Simon
  • How can Simon deduct his expenses for working from home?

    All he has to do is complete form TP-59.S-V, Expenses Related to Working Remotely Because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 Pandemic, to calculate the deduction using either the temporary fixed rate method or the detailed method and file it with his tax return.

  • What are the conditions for deducting expenses for working from home?

    There are three conditions: Simon must have incurred the expenses himself, he must have worked more than 50% of the time at home for at least one month (four consecutive weeks) in 2020 because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 pandemic and his employer must not have (and will not) reimbursed him for the expenses.

  • How can Simon calculate the deduction?

    With the temporary fixed rate method, Simon can deduct $2 per day he worked from home, up to a maximum of $400 for 2020. He won’t have to keep any supporting documents or ask his employer to complete form TP-64.3-V, General Employment Conditions.

    With the detailed method, he’ll have to itemize his deductible expenses. He’ll also have to keep all his supporting documents and ask his employer to complete form TP-64.3-V, General Employment Conditions.

    To figure out which method is best for him, Simon can use the Deduction for teleworking expenses calculator. But whichever method he chooses, he has to complete form TP-59.S-V, Expenses Related to Working Remotely Because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 Pandemic, and file it with his tax return.

  • Simon always does his own taxes. Is form TP-59.S-V, Expenses Related to Working Remotely Because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 Pandemic, included in tax software?

    Yes. Form TP-59.S-V, Expenses Related to Working Remotely Because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 Pandemic, is included in tax software.

  • Does Simon need some kind of document or slip from his employer to deduct expenses for working from home?
    • If Simon uses the temporary fixed rate method, his employer doesn’t have to complete form TP-64.3-V, General Employment Conditions. This is the simplest method. He can deduct $2 per day he worked from home, up to a maximum of $400 for 2020.
    • If he uses the detailed method, his employer will need to complete form TP-64.3-V, General Employment Conditions.
  • What can Simon do if his employer won’t complete form TP-64.3-V, General Employment Conditions, for him?

    If Simon thinks he meets the conditions for claiming a deduction, he is responsible for having his employer complete form TP-64.3-V. If he has trouble getting it, he may be able to file it after the deadline.

  • What expenses can Simon deduct if he uses the detailed method?

    The most common deductible expenses are listed in form TP-59.S-V, Expenses Related to Working Remotely Because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 Pandemic, and guide IN⁠-⁠118⁠-⁠V, Employment Expenses. While most of them are deductible regardless of whether a person owns or rents their home, there are some that are only for homeowners and others that are only for tenants.

  • Can Simon deduct the cost of an ergonomic office chair?

    No. Office furniture is not deductible.

  • Simon's spouse Ellie also worked from home because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 pandemic. Can they both deduct their expenses?

    Yes. Ellie can also claim a deduction if she meets the conditions. She will have to complete form TP-59.S-V, Expenses Related to Working Remotely Because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 Pandemic, and file it with her income tax return. If she chooses the detailed method, she will also have to have her employer complete form TP-64.3-V, General Employment Conditions.

Julie is a salaried employee and incurred expenses to work from home because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 pandemic

Julie is a salaried employee. Working from home in 2020 because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 pandemic, she upgraded her home internet package and bought office supplies (pens, paper and ink), furniture (a desk and ergonomic chair) and equipment (a printer, calculator and stapler).

She figured out that her home office represents 10% of her home’s total surface area. She uses it only for work. Electricity isn’t included in her rent, and her employer didn’t reimburse her for any of her expenses. After using the Deduction for teleworking expenses calculator, Julie used the detailed method to calculate her deduction.

Q&A — Julie
  • What documents does Julie need to use the detailed method?

    She’ll need to have her employer complete form TP-64.3-V, General Employment Conditions. She’ll also have to complete form TP-59.S-V, Expenses Related to Working Remotely Because of the COVID⁠-⁠19 Pandemic. She’ll have to file both forms with her tax return and keep her supporting documents.

  • Julie rents her home. What expenses can she deduct?

    She can deduct the following expenses:

    • the part of her internet package that is reasonably attributable to her work
    • the cost of office supplies (pens, paper and ink)
    • 10% of her rent
    • 10% of her electric bill

    The cost of furniture (the desk and ergonomic chair) and office equipment (the printer, calculator and stapler) are not deductible.

  • If Julie owned her home, could she deduct the same expenses?

    No. Some expenses can only be deducted by homeowners and others only by tenants. If Julie owned her home, she could still deduct the part of her internet package that is reasonably attributable to her work, the cost of office supplies (pens, paper and ink), and part of her electric bill. However, she could not deduct the rental value of her home office.

  • How does Julie determine what part of her internet package is reasonably attributable to her work?

    To determine the percentage, she must:

    1. Figure out what percentage of her home’s total surface area her home office represents.
    2. Multiply the cost of her internet package by this percentage.

    For example, if Julie’s internet package costs $100/month and her home office represents 10% of her home and is used only for work, the calculation is $100 x 10% = $10 per month.