CRA will issue T4As to COVID-19 CERB and CRB recipients
Canadians will begin receiving T4A slips from the CRA for these benefits to support their tax filing. The T4A is virtually identical to the T4 slips Canadians are used to receiving from their employers, but rather than employment income, they provide the amounts of COVID-19 benefits received from the CRA in 2020. Residents of Quebec will receive both a T4A and a RL-1 slip.
The new service enhancements for the 2021 tax season include:
- Additional call agents to further increase call centre capacity: Throughout COVID-19, the CRA has seen a significant increase in call volumes. To help manage this, the 2020 Fall Economic Statement allocated additional funding to the CRA for call centre operations.
- New automated callback service– This new service lets callers ask for a call-back instead of waiting on hold. Callers on the individual tax enquiries, benefits enquiries, and business enquiries lines may be given the option of a callback when wait times reach a certain length. The new automated callback service is easy to use, secure, and helps save callers time on the phone.
- Extended call centre hours: Leading up to and throughout tax-filing season, our Individual enquiries line is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 9pm local time, and our extended Saturday hours will be 9am to 5pm as of February 27th.
Shajani continues to find in excess of 3 hour wait times to reach a CRA agent.
Government of Canada addresses CERB repayments for elf-employed individuals and announces interest relief on 2020 income tax debt due to COVID-19 related income support
the Government of Canada announced that self-employed individuals who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and would have qualified based on their gross income will not be required to repay the benefit, provided they also met all other eligibility requirements. The same approach will apply whether the individual applied through the Canada Revenue Agency or Service Canada.
This means that, self-employed individuals whose net self-employment income was less than $5,000 and who applied for the CERB will not be required to repay the CERB, as long as their gross self-employment income was at least $5,000 and they met all other eligibility criteria.
Some self-employed individuals whose net self-employment income was less than $5,000 may have already voluntarily repaid the CERB. The CRA and Service Canada will return any repaid amounts to these individuals. Additional details will be available in the coming weeks.
In addition, the Government of Canada will provide targeted interest relief to Canadians who received COVID-related income support benefits. Once individuals have filed their 2020 income tax and benefit return, they will not be required to pay interest on any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year until April 30, 2022. This will give Canadians more time and flexibility to pay if they have an amount owing.
To qualify for targeted interest relief, individuals must have had a total taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020 and have received income support in 2020 through one or more of the following COVID-19 measures:
- the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB);
- the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB);
- the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB);
- the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB);
- the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB);
- Employment Insurance benefits; or
- similar provincial emergency benefits.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will automatically apply the interest relief measure for individuals who meet these criteria.
Additionally, any CRA-administered credits and benefits normally paid monthly or quarterly, such as the Canada Child Benefit and the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit will not be applied to reduce individuals’ tax debt owing for the 2020 tax year. Canadians are strongly encouraged to file their tax returns by the filing deadline to ensure that their benefit payments continue without interruption.
This information is for discussion purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. There is no guarantee or warrant of information on this site and it should be noted that rules and laws change regularly. You should consult a professional before considering implementing or taking any action based on information on this site. Call our team for a consultation before taking any action. © 2021 Shajani LLP.
Shajani LLP is a CPA Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer firm and provides Accountant, Bookkeeping, Tax Advice and Tax Planning services.