#FinancialFridays: If you received CERB or CRB – there are things to know prior to tax time.

As 2020 wraps up (pun intended!), it is also a good time to look forward to tax season. This is going to be a different tax season for many people as they navigate the changes in their income and how that impacts their taxes.

For those who applied for COVID-19 related government benefits like CERB and CRB, who were not eligible but who did receive payments in error, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is asking people to repay those benefits voluntarily before December 31st, 2020. If you are unsure, call the government branch from which you received your payment (CRA or Service Canada).

In the New Year, CRA will be reviewing the COVID-19 benefit programs and making decisions on how they will get back CERB and CRB payments which were sent to recipients who were not actually eligible. The CRA has a few different methods for recouping overpayments of social service payments which will be considered during their review of the COVID-19 programs. How this will happen is still unclear but we will be following this process.
The CRA will also clarify how the COVID-19 related benefits will be treated on tax filings in the New Year and we will make sure we share this information on our social media as well.

In the meantime, we strongly recommend you keep all receipts and payment statements in a safe place so you can be prepared for tax season. This may not sound like a part of the holiday season but it is an important part of preparing for 2021.

Are you struggling to make ends meet? Looking to improve your financial health? Please contact our Financial Literacy Coordinator – Caroline to arrange an appointment. Interested individuals may reach out to Caroline directly at advice@unitedwaybg.com or by phone at 519-378-4773. The service is free and completely confidential.