In the wake of the COVID pandemic outbreak, the Canadian government introduced the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Financial assistance to employed and self-employed individuals of up to $2000 for a four-week period. That works out to be $500 a week, and the availability of the CERB was extended over several four-week periods.
The CRA is working on ensuring the CERB was paid to and kept by those that are eligible. As of June, the program received over 600 tips of possible abuse related to the CERB benefit and over 190,000 people had repaid CERB benefits they were not entitled to receive.
If you received the CERB, it is important to evaluate whether you are still eligible or if your situation has changed and therefore should be repaying the CERB. Here are a few that would impact your eligibility:
- Already receiving Employment Insurance,
- Receiving the CERB from both the CRA and Service Canada for the same period,
- Earning more than $1000 in a 4-week period,
- Earning income earlier than expected.
The CERB is taxable. If someone was eligible to receive CERB and not required to pay it back, they will be taxed for the benefit received. A T4A slip will be issued in early 2021 to be included with your 2020 income tax. If you repay the CERB prior to December 31, 2020 the CRA won’t issue a T4A for that payment.
The government will be verifying CERB recipients over the coming months. Employers are to indicate on their CEWS applications whether they are re-hiring employees and that will be used to determine eligibility. Employees who are re-hired retroactively may find that they received more than $1000 income for a CERB period, in which case they would now be ineligible for that period. Additionally, CRA will be comparing payroll records of employers with the information provided by CERB claimants to ensure individuals meet the eligibility criteria.
If you realized you need to repay CERB benefits, you must first determine whether they were received by the CRA or Service Canada. If received from the CRA you must send payment back to the CRA, if received from Service Canada you must send payment back to Service Canada.
To repay CERB to the CRA, the government website states:
- If you still have the original CERB cheque mail it to the address listed below
- If you received the payment by direct deposit, or deposited the cheque, you can mail your repayment to the address listed below.
- Make payment out to “Receiver General for Canada”
- Indicate it is for “Repayment of CERB”
- Include your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Revenue Processing – Repayment of CERB
Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON P3A 0C3
Please do not send cash through the mail.
Online banking with your financial institution Sign-in to your financial institutions’ online banking service for individuals Under “Add a payee” look for an option such as CRA (revenue) – tax instalment Enter your 9-digit social insurance number as the CRA account number
Using My Account:
Beginning May 11, the CRA will offer a convenient way to repay the CERB with a few simple clicks using My Account. Sign in to your CRA My Account Select the ”Proceed to pay” button on the Overview page under the COVID-19 Emergency Support Details Enter the amount you wish to repay Select your payment method of choice If you don’t have a My Account, sign up for one today or use your My Service Canada account to get direct access to My Account (a convenient link in My Service Canada account lets you jump into My Account, even if you have never signed up).
To repay CERB to Service Canada (Employment Insurance(EI)), the government website states:
“For anyone who became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, their Employment Insurance (EI) claim was automatically processed as a CERB payment through Service Canada. Please note you are only to repay once, not to both organizations
If you choose to repay to Service Canada the process to return the payment is as follows:
- If you still have the original cheque you can return the cheque by mail to the address below.
- If you do not have the cheque, or have deposited the cheque, you can pay your account using any of the three methods as outlined below:”
Select “Employment and Social Development Canada” if available through your financial institution’s website
• Note: Payments cannot be made using the “My Payment” option available on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.
Please note, that the other two options are available but given the current situation, you might experience some delays in the processing of your payment.
At Your Financial Institution
Write your Social Insurance Number (SIN) on your cheque or money order and indicate it is for “Repayment of CERB”
Send your payment by cheque or money order (address below)
• Make your payment payable to: “Receiver General for Canada”
• Write your SIN on the front of your cheque or money order and indicate it is for “Repayment of CERB”.
Mail your cheque or money order to the following payment office:
PO Box 1122
Matane QC G4W 4S7
Please do not send cash through the mail.
Information regarding CERB can be found online at www.Canada.ca.
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