Employees may need to be required to work at home for 6 months during COVID-19 to deduct their home office expenses

Can employees who are now working from home deduct their home office expenses? In addition to needing to meet the requirements of s. 8(1)(i) or (f) and for a form T2200, s. 8(13)(a)(i) or (ii) must be satisfied. Notwithstanding the subsequent elevation of Webb J, 2013-0481171E5 did not address his comment in Landry that the home office “meeting” requirement in s. 8(13)(a)(ii) can be satisfied with phone calls.

As for the alternative requirement under s. 8(13)(a)(i) that the home office be “the place where the individual principally performs the duties of the … employment,” it is suggested that perhaps:

the "principally" test should be determined over the course of the full period of employment in the calendar year, rather than for just the part of the year during which the employee is required to work from home for that employment. This would imply … at least 6 months in order to meet the test.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Jiani Qian, “COVID-19 and Employees' Home Office Expenses,” Canadian Tax Focus, Vol. 10, No. 2, May 2020, p. 2 under s. 18(13)(a).