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  • Pushya Chokshi

Received CERB? Here's What You Should Know.

For those who don’t know, After the beginning of the pandemic of COVID-19 government of Canada released the CERB- Canada Emergency Relief Benefit to assist the people of Canada to relieve their financial burdens. The CERB ended 2 months ago and there are a few revelations that CRA is making now in terms of funds according to the report submitted to CBC.

What is CERB?

CERB was a government sponsored emergency fund for individuals residing in Canada who faced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. There were a few conditions and prerequisites individuals were required to fulfill in order to receive these benefits from CRA or Service Canada. A total of $2000 was received by the beneficiary per month as long as they fulfill the given conditions. This benefit was dissolved by the government after the introduction of CRB(Canada Recovery Benefit) and the reopening of EI(Employment insurance).

Image source: CRA website Government of Canada

Error’s in taking CERB:

CERB was provided by 2 government bodies, namely CRA and Service Canada, which created some confusion. According to the clarification provided by CRA officials in a letter provided to CBC, many people claimed benefits from both organizations. They also clarified that this might be ‘an honest mistake’ and many people might have even paid it back before receiving a warning from the organizations. There was some fraudulent activity also involving claims and individuals involved in these activities will be required to pay back the benefits. You may be required to return your CERB benefit if you were:

  1. Receiving benefits despite not qualifying for it.

  2. Receiving the benefits from both organizations instead of one.

Image source: CRA website Government of Canada

Facts and figures associated with CERB:

As provided by the report from CRA, a total of a whopping $81.64billion was issued by the government to over 27 million applications. After the application of the CERB got over CRA also introduced the feature of voluntary repayment to the government and as of now, more than 945,000 people have already returned their benefits.

Repaying CERB and Notice:

CRA has started issuing notices to the account which were ineligible for receiving benefits but still received it or who received double benefits. There are up to 213,000 people who have to return their benefits to CRA after the notice was issued. This notice can be found in the EI section of CRA. If you received the benefit you still can return it under CRA my account if you were not eligible for it, if not then it should appear in the T4A section of your tax return as income and whose tax should be paid in 2021 tax returns.

Fortunately, there is no time limit set for the repayment of CERB as government officials are making sure not to collect any payments amid this pandemic. But government officials are saying they will make sure that the repayment is done. It was also noted that if the individual capacity is below the repayment amount then it will be compensated by diminishing the future benefits and reflecting it in tax credits. There will be a different section of the Tax slip on the CRA account which will reflect the CERB tax.

For more information on CERB and CRB, visit


CBC- letter from the CRA

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