#Canada; #CRA; #CERB; #NetIncome; #FinancialImplications; #GoodFaithMistake
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: Letters had been received by Some Canadians last week from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asking them to pay back thousands of dollars in pandemic benefits suggesting they were not qualified for the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB), media reports said.
Image credit: Twitter handle of CRA
Canadian recipients of such letters have been encouraged by the CRA to pay back the CERB by Dec. 31 to avoid a negative affect on their tax returns.
CBC News learned from the panicked recipients of the letters, who had spent the money to live, that as a criteria mentioned by the CERB they they used their gross income, including expenses.
It was clarified by the CRA that The landing page detailing the eligibility requirements on Canada.ca still does not mention the word 'net' when referring to income.
During the question period on Wed, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons that the CERB and other emergency payments established swiftly in the early days of the pandemic are now being verified "on the back end," and informed that people who made "good-faith mistakes" with regard to net income will not be penalized.
"The rules did not change, but we indicated to Canadians that we will work with them if people made good-faith mistakes," he said.
"It is important to note that Canadians who applied for the CERB in good faith, and are later required to pay money back, will not be charged with penalties or interest," the CRA statement said, and added,
"payment arrangement parameters have been expanded to give Canadians more time and flexibility to repay based on their ability to pay."