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A Guide To Form T2200

Andrew Goldman

Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.

If you’re an employee and hope to deduct work expenses, you’ll absolutely need to your employer to provide Form T2200. This quick guide will provide all the essential T2200 info you’ll need.

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What is tax form T2200?

Form T2200 is provided by your employer and allows you to claim expenses you incur to do your job, such as your home office and car. But driving your car to the office every day and occasionally tapping out some work emails at your dining room table won’t get you a T2200, or, for that matter, a justification for a tax deduction on your car payment or rent. T2200s are sent to a very specific subset of workers who wouldn’t be able to do their jobs otherwise unless they take on the financial burden of specific unreimbursed expenses.

Let’s face it. Tax forms aren’t exactly sexy, but any form like the T2200 that gives you the ability to deduct a whole lot of expenses might as well be the Kendall Jenner or Robert Pattinson of tax paperwork. Form T2200, a two page document that bears the title, “Declaration of Conditions of Employment,” will be super familiar to sales types who travel a lot for their jobs. In the world of expense deduction, the self-employed and business owners have a veritable buffet of deductible expenses at their disposal; salaried employees are more limited and must get a T2200 if they want to deduct certain expenses. (Jobs and gigs sometimes can seem similar, so the CRA actually created a pamphlet specifically to help you understand whether you are technically an employee or self-employed.)

Unless you are an employer, you won’t need to fill out the T2200 yourself; it’s something that most employers will complete automatically and deliver to you. Unlike, say, T4s, T2200s will only be provided to you, the employee. The CRA will receive no copy of it. This doesn’t mean it’s not important. It’s one of those things that you’ll really need if and when the CRA comes knocking for any supporting documentation based on your submitted tax return, so if you get a T2200, keep it in a safe easily-accessed place far out of reach of paper-eating pets. Possession of form T2200 opens the door for you to fill out form T777, which is where you’ll itemize your various deductible expenses. Unlike the T2200, the CRA actually requires you to send them a completed copy of this form.

How important are T2200s? Super important, as illustrated by the tax saga of one Toronto best boy (“best boy” is film lingo for a film lighting technician, not a patronizing character judgement). As the Financial Post reported, the CRA denied $4,013 of deductions the best boy maintained were business related expenses. The rejection left him so outraged he went to court where a judge asked him to produce a T2200, which he didn’t have and never did. The judge ruled that because his employer hadn’t sent him a T2200, and wasn’t required to for the kind of job he held, the fact that he didn’t get one was “fatal.” The best boy survived, thank goodness, but his case against the CRA did not.

If you are an employee and think that you might be entitled to deductions but did not received a T2200, you may first want to take a gander at the CRA’s publication 4044, which provides a good primer on what’s deductible and what’s not. (No, that $5,000 Brioni jacket is absolutely not deductible as “protective clothing.”) If, after acquainting yourself with the guidelines and feel you are entitled to a T2200 from your employer, your best bet is to reach out to your company’s human resources department. If, for example, as a condition of your employment you are required to pay your own expenses while working that are not reimbursed by your employer, you’re legally entitled to the deductions, and the T2200. Make a stink if necessary, but one that doesn’t involve flipping the office conference table.

What’s in the T2200?

Besides an employee’s name, address and social insurance number, the T2200 features just 13 questions. The most basic but important one indicates whether the employee is allowed to claim anything. “Did this employees contract require them to pay their own expenses while carrying out the duties of employment?” An answer of “no” to this question means the employee won’t be able to deduct any expenses at all. Other questions ask whether the employee must travel to places other than the office as part of her job. Does the employee need to rent an office? Have a car? A business cell phone? Use part of their home as an office? Need to own a power saw? (A couple of the questions are quite specific.)

Anything to be careful about?

Item 9 on the T2200 asks if the employer has reimbursed the employee for any expenses and how much. It’s especially important when completing your taxes that the amount the employer reimbursed you not be included in your deductible expenses. Claiming reimbursed expenses as a deduction is a particularly effective way to get in a heap of trouble with the CRA.

What expenses will the T2200 allow me to deduct?

There’s a very long list of deductible expenses, some as narrowcast as “musical instrument expenses” so we’ll spare you the litany. Have a look at the T777 to get the full picture. The big ones that most T777 filers will be concerned with are automobile expenses, work-related entertaining, and office rent or a portion of your total home expenses if you work from home regularly. Most queries you might have about home offices are covered in the CRA’s highly-hyphenated guide, “Work-space-in-the-home expenses.”

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Last Updated October 29, 2019

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