Technology for Working from Home

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This page was last updated on April 27, 2020.

 

Is it a taxable benefit if your employer provides computer equipment for your home office?

In a recently released French Technical Interpretation arising from an April 14, 2020 APFF Webinar, wherein Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) was asked some questions about whether or not there would be a taxable benefit where employers are subsidizing employees to acquire computer equipment/technology for working from home or “teleworking”, CRA has already provided their comments.

CRA’s response was that the general rule is that any time an employer reimburses an employee for personal items such as home computer equipment, it is a taxable benefit to the employee. However, given the current state of the health emergency in Canada due to COVID-19, they recognize that many employees have been forced to telework without the necessary computer equipment. In these limited circumstances, the CRA is prepared to accept that the reimbursement, on presentation of a receipt, of an amount not exceeding $500, of all or part of the cost of the acquisition of personal computer equipment to enable the employee to perform their work immediately and properly, mainly benefits the employer, so that it does not result in a taxable benefit for the employee. This would, of course, also cover situations where the employer purchases the equipment for the employee providing the cost was no greater than $500. Note that amounts above $500 would result in taxable benefits to the employee.

It should also be noted that the rules for deduction of employment expenses would not permit any deduction for personal computer equipment used by the employee in the course of their work.