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Ottawa, May 14 (Canadian-Media): New measures are being planned by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to check up on Canadians receiving Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) during the COVID-19 crisis, although federal officials said all fraudulent benefit claims could only get resolved during 2021 when taxes are filed, media reports said.
CRA, Image credit: Twitter handle
CRA officials also said that resolution of the fraudulent claims will be only possible in months of Jan and Feb, when CRA starts to receive the T4 information from employers' summarizing individuals' earnings.
This information would enable the CRA officials to compare the T4 information with CERB claims.
CERB implies that only those employees forced to stop working due to COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for CERB.
It also implies that these recipients are entitled to earn up to $1,000 a month while receiving the benefit.
Although CRA officials believed that most Canadians are honest, it was acknowledged by one CRA official that fraud rates for the $35-billion program could be higher than for most federal programs and could reach two or three percent.
All dishonest applicants in their CERB claims would be forced to pay back any money they were not entitled to receive, but may not face any other dire consequences.
CRA, which gets only the annual total in any normal year, is still finalizing the plans to get the details of how much employees were paid on a monthly basis during the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to a new verification procedure recently introduced by the CRA officials, applications would be flagged as "high risk" in case of any doubt.
All "high risk" applicants would be required to call a toll-free number to get their applications processed.