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Since the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent move to work from home for many federal public servants, ACFO-ACAF members have asked about the possibility of claiming a deduction for home office expenses on their income taxes. ACFO-ACAF was the first bargaining agent to raise this with the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) and have been pushing for clarity on this issue since April 2020.
We can now report that Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provided further guidance on a temporary flat rate method aimed at simplifying the process for claiming home office expense deductions for the 2020 tax year.
Public service employees may be able to claim a deduction for home office expenses such as work-space-in-the-home expenses, office supplies and some phone expenses. More details on the eligibility requirements for the temporary flat rate method can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/2020/12/simplifying-the-process-for-claiming-a-deduction-for-home-office-expenses-for-employees-working-from-home-due-to-covid-19.html.
If you have any questions after reading the information provided by CRA, feel free to contact an ACFO-ACAF Labour Relations Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.