There have been a number of questions raised with QUFA around purchasing equipment for home offices in light of COVID-19 and remote working.
There are a number of options available to you to pay for the purchase of equipment for a home office and to manage remote teaching.
1. Remember that there are classrooms available on campus that you can reserve to record materials for your courses – see the Centre for Teaching and Learning.
2. Equipment specific to remote teaching (eg. a microphone, headset, camera) should be paid for by Queen’s. Contact your Head with a request for coverage before you purchase the item. This is covered by the Queen’s-QUFA COVID LOU (Schedule C).
3. Upgraded computer equipment should be paid for with your Professional Expense Reimbursement Fund as usual. Remember that the PER is not taxed because everything purchased with it remains the property of Queen’s. For this reason, if you buy office furniture, it should normally remain on campus as Queen’s property. But…
4. Small furniture you need at home can be removed from campus (eg. chairs) temporarily – i.e. until we return to campus to work.
5. The Canada Revenue Agency allows tax breaks for home office expenses with the submission of a T2200. This form avers that you have done more than 50% of your work at home and must be signed by the employer. Later this month, Queen’s expects to hear clarification on this from the government and will communicate with us about how to manage the form and the claim. You will want to consult your accountant on the implications of using the form. In the meantime, keep your receipts for Hydro, cleaning, furnishings for your home office etc. as they may be worth an income tax reduction.
6. Under certain conditions, it may be easier and better for you to do some work on campus. Contact your Head if you need access to campus to work and outline why you can’t work at home for some or all of the time.
If you are struggling to manage remote working, feel free to reach out to QUFA for advice.
Micheline Waring, MIR
Member Services Officer
Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA)
9 St. Lawrence Avenue, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6