T2200 – Claiming Home Office Expenses on Income Tax

The T2200 is a declaration signed by your employer that avers that you do more than 50% of your salaried work at home. The University has agreed to sign these forms when the member meets the required conditions as outlined by the government. With this form signed, you can declare some of the expenses of your residence against salaried earnings.

T2200 – Claiming Home Office Expenses from Salaried Income

The T2200 is a declaration signed by your employer that avers that you do more than 50% of your salaried work at home. The University has agreed to sign these forms when the member meets the required conditions as outlined by the government. With this form signed, you can declare some of the expenses of your residence against salaried earnings.

To meet the criteria of the T2200 declaration, you must be required explicitly (in the contract) or implicitly – both you and the chair/director understand this – to do more than 50% of your work at home. If you have access to an office full-time on campus, you would not be eligible. If, however, you have very limited office access and must prepare lectures or tutorials, communicate with students and colleagues, store work materials and grade at home because your department does not provide sufficient space (and/or equipment like a computer, telephone, internet) for you, then you should consider having the T2200 signed by the Chair, Director or business officer and claiming home office expenses in your tax return. This is not trivial as it can shift you from owing taxes to getting a rebate depending on your level of earnings etc.

You should submit a request in writing to the appropriate official in your department with a copy to the Chair/Director. In that request, make reference to the new Collective Agreement (relevant language below) and to the government interpretation bulletin (also below). Attach the letter to a T2200 Declaration (link below) and submit it as soon as possible. If the chair or business officer refuses to sign and you feel you qualify under government guidelines, please call the union office so we can help you with this.

The relevant section of the new Unit 3 contract is 23.03:

(c)  In the event that a member of the bargaining unit believes that he or she may be entitled to a home office tax credit under income tax legislation that would require the issuance of a form T2200, the University will meet with the member and where the criteria reasonably appear to have been met, will issue the form.

The forms can be found for 2009 and previous years here:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2200/

The relevant government interpretation bulletin that clarifies who qualifies is here:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tp/it352r2/it352r2-e.txt

and please note that the government does not require your home office work to be an explicit condition of the contract – this is a bit confusing in the wording on the T2200 form itself and leads many a business officer to resist signing. If it helps, you can quote them the following from the interpretation bulletin:

Discussion and Interpretation
General

1. Subject to certification by the employer (see 13 below), subparagraphs 8(1)(i)(ii) and (iii) allow a taxpayer, in computing income for a taxation year from an office or employment, to deduct amounts paid in the year as expenses for office rent, supplies and salary to an assistant or substitute. These expenses are deductible provided the following requirements are met:

(a) the taxpayer is required by the contract of employment to pay for such office rent or salary, or to provide and pay for such supplies;
(b) the taxpayer has not been reimbursed and is not entitled to reimbursement for such expenses; (c) these expenses may reasonably be regarded as applicable to the earning of income from the office or employment; and (d) in the case of supplies, they are consumed directly in the performance of the taxpayer’s duties of the office or employment.

Ordinarily, (a) above necessitates that there be an express requirement within the terms of a written contract of employment. Nevertheless, such a requirement for the payment of office rent, supplies or salary to an assistant or substitute may exist where the taxpayer can establish that it was tacitly understood by both parties (the taxpayer and the employer) that such payment was to be made by the taxpayer and was, in fact, necessary under the circumstances to fulfill the duties of the employment.