The pandemic has changed things forever in a multitude of ways. But when it comes to working, it’s unlikely to have changed things more than the new working from home environment. Companies that hoped to stay afloat had to allow employees to work from home rather than risk contracting the virus. Now, many companies are learning one thing: working from home is cheap.
Working from home has been shown to reduce business costs, reduce employee stress, reduce greenhouse gases, and more. It’s highly likely that the trend of allowing employees to work remotely will continue long after the pandemic passes, so make sure you’re prepared when sending returns to the CRA.
The work-space-in-the-home break
There are a number of tax breaks that fall under this new working from home category. And let me be clear: just because you would even work part-time from home doesn’t mean you can’t apply for these CRA breaks. All you have to have to be eligible are these two things:
- Your work space is where you do your work 50% of your time or more.
- You use this workspace only to earn your employment income, and this space must be used on a regular and continuous basis.
If you are able to abide by these CRA rules, then make sure you are keeping anything, and I mean anything that has to do with your work. Printer paper? New computer? Heck, orthopedic slippers? It could all be claimed as a work-space-in-the-home expense.
Check out new credits
There are also a number of benefits your accountant can speak with you about while claiming these expenses. One such credit is the digital news tax credit. This credit is a 15% non-refundable CRA tax credit for qualifying digital media subscriptions. This would include something like, say, I don’t know, The Motley Fool! The credit can be used from 2020 through to 2025, for now, for up to $500 worth of subscription fees.
Whether you’re using your new CRA credits for investments or at least investing in digital media for information, make sure your taking advantage of these credits. Working from home has its benefits, and by using them all, you can keep making money for decades to come. Take that gas money from your commute, your morning double double, all that cash and put it into a long-term stock.
A great investment would be one that is set to grow over the next several years with the growth of e-commerce. For my money, I’ve chosen Lightspeed POS Inc. (TSX:LSPD). The stock is down, as it’s both new to the markets, and recently posted poor revenue results due to the coronavirus. The company mainly has its point-of-sale system in retail and restaurants, which clearly were down during the pandemic.
Now that businesses are opening again, these businesses should explode, and so should Lightspeed earnings. While this can mean brick and mortar stores, it also means online retailers. Companies such as Frank & Oak and Addidas are just some examples of the companies using Lightspeed today.
As more businesses sign on, the company could explode in the next several years. The company is down just 30% from its pre-crash highs and has doubled since its initial public offering (IPO) last year.