The New “Work from Home”

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As we move into 2021, one trend that we can confidently say is here to stay is the home office (or at the very least, a nook!). COVID has made us re-evaluate a lot, including how we utilise the space in our homes. A property’s flexibility in use has become a selling feature, as our homes have also become our offices, schools, gyms, and entertainment centers! With a large portion of the population working remotely for the foreseeable future, it’s important for Sellers to showcase a dedicated workspace, and if you are considering a renovation, we encourage you to factor this into your plans!

Find or Repurpose Space in Your Existing Home

If moving to a bigger home is not a viable option, consider seeking out design solutions to repurpose your existing floor space. Even nooks and closets can transform into useful square footage!

Unfinished space is gold – think basements, attics, and areas over garages that have not been built-out.

Embrace the “flex-room”. The bonus-room’s cousin, a flex-room simply means a room that can accommodate various needs – a bit of a chameleon, if you will.

Consider unique alternatives, such as outdoor ‘office pods’, sound-insulated ‘focus booths’, and multi-purpose furniture.

Work from Home Tax-Breaks

If you are self-employed, you might already be aware of your eligibility to deduct a portion of your home expenses (whether you are an owner or a renter), including maintenance costs, utilities, and even a slice of your property taxes and mortgage interest, or monthly rent! The deduction calculation is as simple as dividing the area of your workspace by the total area of your home. Home office renovation costs may even be tax deductible if you are self-employed, however, renovations are capital investments – not expenses! Beware as you may end up paying capital gains on that portion of your home and pay more in the long run than you initially saved.

And what about the rest of us, who as employees had to make a quick transition from traditional office to home office, as a result of the pandemic? In response to COVID, the Canada Revenue Agency has introduced a new flat rate method to simplify claiming the deduction for home office expenses (as it stands, this is temporary and only applies to time working from home in 2020). As an employee, whether full or part time, you may be eligible to claim a deduction on your personal income tax return for home office expenses and supplies, and even your cell phone bill. Be sure to check out the CRA website and check with your accountant to see how you can benefit.

Home Office Inspo

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