2020 Tax Year – Information around Working From Home Tax Deduction due to COVID-19

Information from Camosun College regarding the new tax deductions around working from home (as posted on the Camosun website):

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently announced a temporary simplified method that will allow employees who worked at home due to COVID-19 more than 50 percent of the time for at least four consecutive weeks during the pandemic, to claim an amount of $2 per working day (up to a maximum deduction of $400). This simplified method does not require you to obtain a T2200/T2200S form or maintain documented receipts to validate your claim.
Please note that:

  • Working days include any day during which an employee performs work, at their home, for the employer. There are no minimum hours attached to this, both full-time and part-time employees may count any day on which they performed work for the employer.
  • Non-working days such as weekends, statutory holidays, vacation or sick days are not counted. (Flex days count as working days as we work extra hours in advance to have the time)

For most employees, this simplified method will provide the maximum deduction allowed without the detailed record-keeping normally required for home office deduction claims. 

To claim the simplified method, you must meet the eligibility criteria – Temporary flat rate method as posted on the CRA website. Once you have determined you are eligible, use “Option 1 – Temporary flat rate method” on Form T777S – Statement of Employment Expenses for Working at Home Due to COVID-19 – enter the days you worked (vacation/sick days/weekends don’t count as working days). You will attach the form to your 2020 income tax return. Please refer to the CRA website and these links for further information.

For employees that calculate their work from home expense deduction is greater than that provided under the simplified method, a T2200S form would be used instead. Some considerations for this method:

T2200S form can be requested and will be provided by the College. The T2200S form (“S” meaning “short”) is a new form created for the 2020 tax year and is applicable for Camosun College employees that have been required to work from home. Below are some illustrative examples that show the difference between an individual who is a homeowner and an individual that is renting their place of residence.

Please Note: Camosun College / CUPE 2081 does not provide tax advice. These examples are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax advice. You should consult your own tax advisor for professional advice on your individual circumstance.

Here is an illustration for a homeowner:

Sam is a homeowner who lives in a three bedroom townhome with other family members. He has worked from home continuously from March 15 to December 31, 2020.
The only space available to set up a work area was at the dining table and this space represents eight per cent of the total finished area of the home.
Sam works an average of 50 hours per week so the common space is further prorated by 29.76 per cent (50 hours divided by 168 hours per week) for a total claim amount of 2.38 per cent.
The eligible expenses Sam has for a detailed claim are the utilities and the internet access fee which total $3,250, 2.38 percent of this is $77.35.

Sam also has invoices for office supplies he paid for, totaling $125 which he can claim 100%.

Using a T2200/T2200S, Sam would only be able to claim $202.35.

If Sam worked from home for 190 days (weekends, statutory holidays and vacation have been excluded) a non-accountable deduction (using the simplified method described above) of $380 would provide a greater deduction.

The next illustration provides an example for those who rent their home:

Alexandra and her spouse rent a two bedroom apartment for $2,000 per month. They have both been working from home continuously from April 1 to December 31, 2020. Alexandra has set up her workspace in the couple’s bedroom while her spouse is working from the second bedroom that is usually used as the TV room. Alexandra’s space represents 11.25 per cent of the total finished area of the home and she normally works 40 hours per week, allowing her to claim 2.68 per cent of her share of the rent and home internet access.

Total rent and internet access fees are $18,600. Using the T2200/T2200S method, each spouse may only allocate 50 per cent or $9,300 to their claim and, at 2.68 per cent, this would limit each of their  claims to $249.24.

If Alexandra has worked from home for 180 days (weekends, statutory holidays and vacation have been excluded) a non-accountable deduction (using the simplified method described above) of $360 would provide a greater deduction.

If Alexandra and her spouse are eligible for similar claims that would be a household claim of $720 using the simplified claim as compared to a detailed claim of approximately $500.

You will be able to claim this amount on line 22900, Other Employment Expenses, of your 2020 tax return. This deduction will reduce your taxable income for the year, and will generally result in an income tax refund. However, the amount of the refund may be different based on your unique tax situation.

It is also important to understand the difference between a common workspace and a designated workspace, which is an area in your home that is only used for work. An existing home office that contains your personal documents or a spare bedroom containing personal effects is not a designated workspace. Most people required to work from home as a result of COVID-19 will be considered to be using a common or shared area in their home for work purposes.

When to request a T2200S form
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for deductions greater than what the simplified method offers. This will require you to:

  • Measure and total the size of your workspace;
  • Obtain the total size of all finished areas in your home (including your workspace);
  • If using a common space in the home determine average weekly working hours; and
  • Collect and maintain supporting documents for all of the expenses you can claim for the period(s) you worked from home

To make a detailed claim, you will require a confirmation of employment form. Upon request, Camosun College may issue a T2200S form to validate your conditions of employment to allow you to make a detailed expense claim for your work at home space.
If choosing the detailed claim method, you are also required to complete and attach Form T777S (Statement of Employment Expenses For Working At Home During COVID-19) to your tax return to deduct home office expenses for the year.

The incrementally greater amount that you may be able to claim using a T2200S, may not be equal to your investment of time and effort.

Walter rents a one bedroom with a small den that was used for his personal computer use and to store household items. From April 1 through December 31, 2020, he also used this space for work. The den is considered a common space and, based on Walters working hours of 50 per week, he would be able to allocate 2 per cent of his rent and internet access fee as working from home expenses. Walter’s total expenses for a detailed claim requiring a T2200S are $20,750. Being able to allocate 2 per cent of that total, Walter is able to claim $415.00.
If Walter worked from home for 185 days the simplified calculation would result in a $370.00 claim.

Although the detailed claim provides an additional amount of $45, the additional tax savings, based on Walter’s net taxable income, is only $18 greater than the simplified method which requires no measurements or documented evidence of expenses.

Please note the T2200S form only validates the condition of employment requiring you to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not provide the value of your eligible deductions, as that is a personal tax matter. In the event of a CRA audit, you must be prepared to present valid proof (e.g. receipts, floorplans, rental contracts, etc.) of any deductions you have claimed. The CRA also occasionally performs in-person inspections of home office claims looking at, among other details, proof that the space is being used solely or jointly for working purposes.

Before requesting a T2200S form we suggest you use the tools that the CRA has created to assist you in estimating a detailed work from home expense claim. As with the examples we have provided you may find the simplified method provides the greater deduction.
The following tools are available from CRA:

  • A comprehensive list of eligible expenses; and
  • calculator to assist you in determining the eligible claim amount

After consideration of your individual work from home situation, if you determine you will require the T2200S please follow this link that will take you to the T2200S request form.  A completed T2200S form will be sent to your preferred email address indicated on the request form. Please note, you are not required to submit the T2200S form with your 2020 tax return but it must be kept in case the CRA requests to see it later.  Therefore, your patience is appreciated while the College processes your request.

Upcoming General Membership Meeting – Feb 1st, 2021

Our next General Membership Meeting for CUPE 2081 will be held on Monday February 1st, 2021 from 5:00-6:30pm. Please check the latest CUPE-ALL email for Zoom link!

Below is our agenda, minutes from the previous meeting, and reports from executive members.

2021.02.01 General Membership Meeting Agenda
2020.12.16 General Membership Meeting – Minutes

2021.01.25 Member At Large Report – Alesha Peters
2021.01.25 Member At Large Report – Shirley Wendland
2021.01.25 OH&S Report – April Atkins
2021.01.25 Vice President Report – Shane Johnson
2021.01.25 Campus Steward Report – Naji Yazdi
2021.01.25 Communications Officer Report – Jayme Wilkinson
2021.01.25 Education Report – Shelley Butler
2021.01.25 Job Evaluation Coordinator Report – Milo Anstey

We hope you will be able to join us!

Legislative Update – January 2021

Legislative update, from Justin Schmid – CUPE BC

Legislative Session: The two-week legislative session in December passed legislation enabling the BC Recovery Benefit which will provide 3.7 million British Columbians with up to $1000 for eligible families and up to $500 for eligible individuals.

K-12 COVID-19 Response Funding: The first $121.2 million installment of the federal government’s K-12 COVID-19 response funding allowed B.C. school districts to hire 1,868 new staff members.

Chilliwack school board: Two special advisors were appointed by the province to evaluate the Chilliwack school board’s “commitment to a school system that is safe, inclusive and welcoming to all students and staff.” The government has also begun a review of the School Act that could be made to “ensure the actions of elected trustees support safe and inclusive schools for students and staff.”

Child Care Awards of Excellence: British Columbians can nominate early care and learning (ECL) professionals who have gone above and beyond to keep kids safe and learning despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards recognize the outstanding achievements of people, organizations and local governments who help families and communities thrive by providing or supporting the delivery of quality child care in B.C. Nomination information can be found here and nominations are being accepted until Feb. 5, 2021.

Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards: The Province is seeking nominations to honour individuals and organizations that are strengthening multiculturalism and taking a stand against racism and discrimination throughout B.C. British Columbians can submit nominations for individuals, organizations and youth whose work has enhanced inclusion and cultural diversity, and reduced racism and discrimination in their communities. Nomination information can be found here and nominations close at 5 p.m. Feb. 22, 2021.

Reminder: New Rules for Claiming WFH Expenses

As tax time looms ever closer, this is a reminder that the Canada Revenue Agency has simplified the rules to help make Canadians working from home eligible for a tax deduction.
Under the new rules, employees that have worked from home more than 50% of the time over a period of a least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to COVID-19 are eligible to claim the home office expenses deduction for 2020.  Please read the CRA news release here and visit the CRA website for more information.

CUPE 2081 Contributes to United Way of Greater Victoria

We are proud to let our members know that we support our community through many initiatives, and this holiday season we were able to give a little extra to the United Way of Greater Victoria.

Every year, we donate $1 per member to the United Way, and this marks our 20th annual donation. This year, in light of COVID-19 and additional need in our communities, CUPE 2081 donated an additional $500.

President Keith Todd, Executive Member Naji Yazdi and his son Max delivered our cheques yesterday to the United Way.

We hope these contributions are able to help our communities that are in need this holiday season!

CUPE 338 Municipal Workers Donate $15,000 to Okanagan Charities Amid Pandemic

CUPE members donate $15,000 to Okanagan charities coping with pandemic

Kelowna – Municipal workers in the central Okanagan region are donating $15,000 to help local communities weathering the COVID-19 pandemic. CUPE 338, representing over 900 municipal workers across the region, hopes the donations to the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna will assist people hit hard by the public health crisis.

“CUPE 338 members live and work in communities from West Kelowna to Lake Country. As front-line workers we’ve seen first-hand how many of our friends, neighbours and fellow community members are struggling though this difficult time,” says Ken Pommier, a municipal worker and president of CUPE 338. “The Kelowna Women’s Shelter and the CMHA Kelowna provide vital supports that are more important than ever in this public health emergency. We hope these donations will help them continue this important work, especially through the holiday season.”

CUPE 338 is donating $5,000 to the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and $10,000 to the CMHA Kelowna – $5,000 of that donation is directed to the CMHA Foundry Kelowna’s mobile services, launching in spring 2021.

“We are incredibly grateful to receive this generous donation,” says Shelagh Turner, Executive Director CMHA Kelowna. “Supporting the mental health of our community has never been more important. These funds will go a long way to ensuring anyone, regardless of age, can access the resources, tools and education they need to be well.”

Ester Pike, Resource Development Coordinator for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter says, “This year has been an especially challenging time for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and it is only through the support of community-minded groups such as CUPE 338 that we have been able to continue to offer our services and programs to women and children in need in Kelowna. We are so very thankful for their generous support.”

CUPE 338 members work for the City of Kelowna and the City airport, the Kelowna Museums Society, the District of Lake Country, Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District, Regional District of Central Okanagan, Black Mountain Irrigation District, and the BC Corps of Commissionaires (Kelowna Guards). The work they do touches every part of Okanagan life. They maintain roads, provide drinking water, maintain parks and other civic facilities, and support many other vital community resources and services.

“CUPE 338 members are proud of the communities they serve, and proud of how these communities have worked together during the pandemic,” says Pommier. “We are dedicated to continue this work over the holiday season, and in the months and years to come as we look to recover.”

The news release can be found here: https://www.cupe.bc.ca/cupe_members_donate_15_000_to_okanagan_charities_coping_with_pandemic

CRA Announces New Rules for Working-From-Home Tax Deduction

From CBC News

The Canada Revenue Agency has simplified the rules to make millions of Canadians working from home eligible for a tax deduction.

Under the new rules, those who worked from home more than 50 per cent of the time over a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020 as a result of the pandemic will be now be eligible for the deduction.

Eligible employees who opt for the simplified deduction will be able to claim $2 for each day they worked from home during that period, plus any other days they worked from home because of the pandemic, up to a maximum of $400. Their employers will not have to sign a special form.

More than one person living at the same address can claim the deduction as long as each one qualifies for it.

For more information, please read the full CBC article here.

 

 

CUPE 2081 General Membership Meeting and Social – Dec 16

We will be holding a CUPE 2081 General Membership Meeting Wednesday, December 16th @ 5pm!

When: Wednesday, Dec. 16th – 5:00-6:00pm
Where: via Zoom (please refer to the CUPE-ALL email that went out containing the link)
*Note that our Zoom subscription holds a max of 100 people at a time in a Zoom meeting. The first 100 people in will be on the call – please make sure to mute your mics.
Please email cupe2081@camosun.bc.ca if you require the link again.

Please click on the links below to review the agenda, motion information, and executive reports for the upcoming meeting.

2020.12.16-General Membership Meeting Agenda
2020.10.07 – General Membership Meeting Minutes
Kim Manton Memorial Scholarship – enclosure
Kim Manton Scholarship Fund-
BCFED Convention Resolution Book 2020
Dec 6 Memorial Letter – request for support and poster for distribution to Union members
Motion Info – Post Secondary Cost Share Campaign
Motion Info – PSE & Restart Info
Motion Info – MADD & United Way Info

2020.12.03- Health and Safety
2020.12.03-LR and Office Report
2020.12.03- Communications Officer Report
2020.11.18 Board Report
2020.12.03-Vice President Report
2020-12-03-Education Report

Hoping to “see” you Wednesday!

BC Recovery Benefit

BC announced today that they are rolling out a Recovery Benefit for BC residents.

Please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/recovery-benefit

Benefit rates

The amount you’re eligible for will be automatically calculated based on your income when you apply.

Families and single parents

  • $1,000 for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $125,000
  • Reduced benefit amount for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $175,000

The benefit defines a family as an individual and their spouse or common-law partner, unless they are separated. Both people must be residents of B.C.

The benefit defines a single parent as an individual who is the principal caregiver to at least one child.

Individuals

  • $500 for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $62,500
  • Reduced benefit amount for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $87,500

General eligibility criteria

Generally, the benefit is available to people:

If you receive a payment and we later determine that you’re not eligible for it, you will be required to repay it.

Note: If you’re applying for the family benefit, your spouse or common-law partner must also meet the general eligibility criteria.

Please visit the Government website for full information.

CUPE BC’s Legislative Update as of Nov 27

On behalf of CUPE BC:

Legislative Update – November 27, 2020

Final Results: Following a judicial recount, the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky riding was determined to have been won by incumbent BC Liberal Jordan Sturdy by 60 votes. This reduces the BC Green seat count to two, but following changes in a previous legislative session, they will retain official party status.
 
New Provincial Orders: Effective November 19, 2020, all indoor or outdoor events are prohibited, with limited exceptions. Social gatherings at residences are limited to only those who reside there. All businesses and worksites must conduct active daily screening of all on-site workers. Workers and customers must wear masks in common indoor spaces. Employers should support work from home options wherever possible. More information can be found here.
 
NDP Caucus Sworn In: The 57 BC NDP Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), including Premier Horgan, were sworn in as members of the NDP caucus. With 29 women, this is the first governing caucus in Canadian history to have a majority of women and is also the most diverse caucus.
 
New Interim Liberal Party Leader: Following the resignation of Andrew Wilkinson, Prince George – Valemount MLA Shirley Bond has been elected interim party leader for the BC Liberals. First elected in 2001 she has previously served in a number of ministerial roles including Deputy Premier.
 
New Cabinet: Premier John Horgan announced the new cabinet which includes 20 ministers and four ministers of state. Gender representation remains balanced. The cabinet is supported in its work by 13 parliamentary secretaries, with portfolios including Rural Development, Anti-Racism, and Technology and Innovation. You can find their bios and mandate letters here  The cabinet and parliamentary secretaries are as follows:

Premier:
John Horgan

Attorney General (and Minister Responsible For Housing): David Eby

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Anti-Racism Initiatives: Rachna Singh

Advanced Education and Skills Training: Anne Kang

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Skills Training: Andrew Mercier

Agriculture, Food and Fisheries: Lana Popham

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Fisheries and Aquaculture: Fin Donnelly

Citizens’ Services: Lisa Beare

Children and Family Development: Mitzi Dean

  • Minister of State for Child Care: Katrina Chen

Education: Jennifer Whiteside

Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation (and Minister Responsible for the Consular Corps of British Columbia): Bruce Ralston

Environment and Climate Change Strategy (and Minister Responsible for Translink): George Heyman

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Environment: Kelly Greene

Finance: Selina Robinson

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Gender Equity: Grace Lore

Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development: Katrine Conroy

  • Minister of State for Lands, Natural Resource Operations: Nathan Cullen
  • Parliamentary Secretary – Rural Development: Roly Russell

Health (and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs): Adrian Dix

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Seniors Services and Long Term Care: Mable Elmore

Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: Murray Rankin

Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation: Ravi Kahlon

  • Minister of State for Trade: George Chow
  • Parliamentary Secretary – Technology and Innovation: Brenda Bailey

Labour: Harry Bains

  • Parliamentary Secretary – New Economy: Adam Walker

Mental Health and Addictions: Sheila Malcolmson

Municipal Affairs: Josie Osborne

Public Safety and Solicitor General: Mike Farnworth

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Emergency Preparedness: Jennifer Rice

Social Development and Poverty Reduction: Nicholas Simons

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Community Development and Non-Profits: Niki Sharma
  • Parliamentary Secretary – Accessibility: Dan Coulter

Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport: Melanie Mark

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Arts and Film: Bob D’Eith

Transportation and Infrastructure: Rob Fleming

  • Minister of State for Infrastructure: Bowinn Ma

 

Legislative Session: The next legislative session will begin with a Throne Speech on December 7.