2020 Tax Changes Individuals and Families

Amounts Received Related to COVID-19

During the year, you may have received federal, provincial, or territorial government COVID-19 payments such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). These amounts are generally taxable and you will receive a slip, such as a T4A or T4E.

Interest Relief on 2020 Income Taxes Owing if you Received COVID-19 Benefits

Interest relief will be given to individuals who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Total 2020 taxable income was $75,000 or less
  • You received at least one COVID-19 benefit in 2020
  • You have filed your 2020 income tax return
  • You owe income taxes for 2020

You will not have to pay interest on any amount owing from your 2020 taxes until April 30, 2022.

Home Office Expenses for Working at Home due to COVID-19 

If you worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020, individuals may be eligible to deduct home office expenses (work-space-in-the-home expenses, office supplies, and certain phone expenses) if you worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19. There are two options, a temporary flat rate method or the detailed method.

Temporary flat rate method to calculate your home office expenses for 2020 for which they were not reimbursed. You can claim $2 for each day you worked from home.  The maximum you can claim using the new temporary flat rate method is $400 (200 working days) per individual.

Detailed method you must obtain a T2200S, Declaration of Conditions of Employment for Working at Home Due to COVID-19 and have kept all supporting documents. You can now include a reasonable monthly home internet access fee as part of your work-space-in-the-home expenses.

Meal Rate 

Since January 1, 2020, the meal rate for each meal has increased from $17 to $23 (includes sales tax).

Home Buyers’ Plan

If you are not considered a first-time home buyer for the purposes of the HBP and you experience a breakdown in your marriage or common-law partnership, you may be able to participate in the HBP under certain conditions. Contact us for details of the conditions that apply.

Canada Training Credit

An individual who is at least 25 years old and less than 65 years old at the end of a calendar year can accumulate $250 in their Canada training credit (CTC) limit for the next tax year, up to a maximum of $5,000 in a lifetime. The refundable credit can be claimed for tuition and other fees paid for courses you took during the year.

Digital News Subscription Tax Credit

For 2020-2024 tax years, you may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit for expenses if you paid for a qualifying digital news subscription with a qualified Canadian journalism organization.

Canadian Journalism Labour Tax Credit

If you are a qualifying member of a partnership, you may be able to claim this new, refundable tax credit. The partnership must be a qualifying journalism organization and allocate the credit to you.