The government has permitted people who have to work from home due to COVID-19 to make a claim for up to 250 days at a rate of $2 per day. But claiming the full number of days would be rare assuming that you are a white collar worker, which is the usual claimant for working from home.
Let us check the math…
There are 365 days in 2021, and 52 weeks. That means that there are 52 Saturdays and 52 Sundays… a total of 104 days where you would not work a full day. The count of available days are now 365 days less 104 days, or 261 days.
Now there are public holidays where you are expected not to work. In Ontario, there are a total of nine public holidays. In Quebec, there are a total of eight statutory holidays. Other provinces have comparable holidays, but if your employer offers more holidays than the minimum, your numbers go down further. But just using the standard holidays, that makes 252 (Ontario) or 253 (Quebec) remaining days left. Isn’t that enough? No, it isn’t…
A person is expected to take vacation or have occasional days sick or have medical appointments. If you take more than 3 or 4 additional days off, you are now below 250 days.
Which means, the CRA will probably be looking closely at anyone who makes a claim for exactly 250 days or a $500 deduction. In case you don’t realize it, that $500 deduction will probably only save you $75 of Federal tax.
If you make a claim for 246 days, or $492, your savings is $74 of Federal tax and the odds of a review has significantly dropped. So lose 4 days of the claim and $1 of Federal tax!