The Canadian Payroll Association has commended Ottawa for its help to taxpayers working from home during the pandemic to access tax deductions they are entitled to while eliminating a significant burden for payroll professionals and employers.

After government-mandated lockdowns and closures became the norm during the pandemic, more than six million Canadians found themselves working from home in 2020. With so many new remote workers, employers worried that they would be required to complete T2200 forms to enable them to claim work-from-home expenses. The payroll group called this a herculean task which would have generated countless hours of work and cost employers more than $194 million collectively.

The government's fall economic statement, released on Monday, quells those worries by announcing a streamlined approach for claiming work-from-home expenses that is a win-win for both employees and employers. Employees working from home with "modest expenses" will be able to claim up to $400 in the 2020 tax year without the need to track detailed expenses. And employers will, generally, no longer be required to confirm the status of employees by completing a T2200 form for each remote worker.

New approach has backing of payroll and tax professionals

This new approach directly reflects recommendations made by the Canadian Payroll Association to both the Ministers of Finance and National Revenue, and the Canada Revenue Agency.

"Today's announcement shows that the government is listening to the needs of payroll professionals across Canada," says Peter Tzanetakis, president of the Canadian Payroll Association. "Since the beginning of the pandemic there have more than 300 legislative changes impacting payroll professionals who have been working tirelessly to help deliver essential programs to Canadians.

“Eliminating the T2200 for new remote workers in 2020 significantly reduces the burden to employers, enabling the focus to remain on essential business needs during this unprecedented time."