Employers can reimburse $500 tax-free for home office furniture

With so many Canadian employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Canada Revenue Agency is adding home office furniture to the list of expenses employers can reimburse tax-free.

Usually, the CRA only allows employers to reimburse up to $500 of personal computer equipment so that an employee can carry out their employment duties at home, without an employee receiving a taxable benefit. But this isn’t a usual year.

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“The CRA recognizes the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many employees having to work from home, where they may not have the necessary computer or home office equipment to perform their employment duties,” said CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram in a statement emailed to Benefits Canada

“The [agency] decided to extend this position to include home office equipment such as desks and chairs. However, it is important to note that the $500 reimbursement amount is in respect of each employee rather than each piece of computer or office equipment purchased.”