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News update (2022-12-08)* – CRA is currently reviewing CERB claimants’ eligibility. Those who are found to be overpaid CERB benefits because they have also being paid EI, will receive a letter from CRA to return the CERB payment. For more details, you need to contact CRA directly.

Why you would return your CERB or CRB back

Your situation may have changed since you first applied or you may have made a mistake when applying. If you are not eligible for the benefit, you will have to return any payments you received. We encourage you to return any payments you received in 2020 that you’re not eligible for before December 31, 2020.

You must return or repay the CRB to the CRA if you:

  1. applied for the CRB and later found that you are not eligible
  2. received a payment in error
  3. are found to have made a fraudulent claim
  4. received one of the following for the same eligibility period:

    • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
    • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
    • short-term disability benefits
    • workers’ compensation benefits
    • Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
    • Québec Parental Insurance Pan (QPIP) benefits

Review period start and end dates in a calendar. Individuals who make intentionally fraudulent claims may also face additional consequences, such as penalties or possible jail time.

If you need to reimburse CRB

If you received the CRB and your net income is more than $38,000 (excluding CRB amounts), you may have to reimburse some or all of the benefit.

Determine if you need to reimburse the CRB

Any amounts you need to reimburse will be included as part of your total balance owing for your 2020 taxes.

If you’re filing electronically

If you’re filing with certified tax software, the amounts you need to reimburse should be calculated for you and added to your balance owing.

If you’re filing a paper return

If line 23400 is more than $38,000, complete section “Line 23500 – Social benefits repayment” of the worksheet to calculate how much you need to reimburse.

Use the worksheet that applies to you:

You will have to reimburse $0.50 of the CRB for every dollar of net income you earned above $38,000. You will not have pay back more than what you received in CRB benefits for that year.

How to calculate the social benefits repayment on the worksheet

  1. Enter applicable amounts on lines 1 to 24
  2. Insert your CRB amount on line 25 (from box 202 on your T4A slip)
  3. Subtract your CRB amount from line 24 and enter the difference on line 26
  4. Subtract $38,000 (the base amount) from line 26
  5. Take the subtracted amount and multiply by 50%
  6. Use the CRB amount or the 50% calculation (whichever is less) to calculate the amount for line 23500
  7. Enter this amount on both line 23500 and line 42200 of your tax return

You do not have to attach the worksheet to your return, but keep it for your records.

How repayments can impact your taxes

The timing of when you repay a CRB amount may impact your taxes.

If you repaid a CRB amount:

  • before December 31, 2020 – your repayment should be reflected on your 2020 T4A slip (you will not pay tax on amounts you repaid in 2020)
  • after December 31, 2020 – you will be taxed based on the full amount shown on your 2020 T4A slip (your repayment will be on your 2021 T4A slip, which you can claim as a deduction on next year’s tax return)

If your income is tax exempt

If your income is eligible for tax exemption under section 87 of the Indian Act, your CRB payments may be tax exempt. Your CRB payments will be taxed (or not) in the same way as the income that entitled you to the benefit.

  • If all your income was tax exempt during the time you earned the $5,000 income requirement (in 2019 or the last 12 months), then the benefit is also tax exempt.
  • If your income during that time was not fully tax exempt, you may have some tax to pay.

All CRB payments had a 10% tax was withheld at source. If your CRB payments in 2020 were tax exempt, you may be able to get some or all of that tax back by filing a 2020 tax return.

If you are not sure if your income is tax exempt, or need more details:

Taxes and benefits for Indigenous peoples

Penalties and interest

File your tax return before the due date to avoid late-filing penalties and any disruption in receiving your other benefits and credits.

The late-filing penalty is 5% of your 2020 balance owing, plus an additional 1% for each month that you are late (up to a maximum of 12 months).

Interest relief

Interest relief on your 2020 taxes owing will be given to people who have a total taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020, and received at least one COVID-19 benefit in 2020, such as the CRB.

Late-filing penalty charges still apply and are not part of this interest relief.

You must file your 2020 tax return to qualify for interest relief.

Eligibility criteria for interest relief

Recognize repayment scams
Beware of fraudulent emails, texts or calls claiming to be from the CRA about repaying the CRB or requesting personal information.

For more on what to expect when we contact you, and what information we ask for, go to Protect yourself against fraud.

How to return CRB to CRA
You can return or repay your CRB payment to the CRA online or by mail.

If you were paid by direct deposit or don’t have the original CRB cheque
To repay the CRB, choose one of the following options:

Online with CRA:

Online banking:
With your financial institution:

Sign in to your financial institution’s online banking service
Under “Add a payee” look for an option such as: Canada emergency benefit repayment
Enter your 9 digit social insurance number (SIN) as the CRA account number

By mail:
Mail a cheque or money order to the CRA:

Make the payment out to “Receiver General for Canada”
Indicate it is for “Repayment of Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)”
Indicate which eligibility period you are repaying
Include your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Mail your payment:
Revenue Processing – Repayment of CRB

Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON P3A 0C3

If you still have the original CRB cheque

You can return the cheque by mail.

Be sure to include:

the reason for returning the cheque (“not entitled” or “overpayment”)
your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Mail the cheque to:

Revenue Processing – Repayment of CRB
Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON P3A 0C3