Question: I work for a charitable organization, can I deduct a portion of my house as office expenses? I also foster many cats for the same organization; can I claim food and litter expenses? – J.R.
You don’t say whether you work on a volunteer basis or as a paid employee or contract worker. It makes a huge difference.
If you are a volunteer, there is no way you can deduct anything. If you are paid for your work, then you may be able to claim a home office deduction if the organization requires you to work from home and the room is used exclusively for business purposes. You can check out the rules (which are quite detailed) by reviewing the CCRA guide called Employment Expenses.
Unless you received remuneration for fostering the cats, you cannot claim any of the expenses involved in doing so. Even if you are paid, it’s questionable whether CCRA would allow such a claim – it’s not addressed in the guide one way or another. As a general rule, I suggest that if you’re in a gray area and you can make a legitimate case that the expense was incurred to earn income, incde it. The worst CCRA can do is say “no way”. – G.P.