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CTVNewsca writer


The federal government says some ineligible self-employed Canadians who have received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are not forced to repay the money due to the unclear news from the Canadian Revenue Agency in the application

Labor Secretary Carla Qualtrough’s office said Tuesday in a press release that self-employed Canadians can accept CERB payments of up to 14Applied for and received $ 000 even though they do not meet the criteria for eligibility for net income, they no longer need to repay the amount as long as they meet all other requirements

For those who may have already voluntarily repaid the CERB, the CRA and Service Canada will return all amounts repaid to those individuals in this news release More details will be announced in the coming weeks. The federal government has not been able to specify exactly how many Canadians would be affected by this decision

“We have made the CERB’s eligibility criteria as broad and comprehensive as possible so that workers who need assistance can receive it. This announcement gives self-employed Canadians who have applied in good faith to the CERB security while protecting their financial well-being” Qualtrough said in the press release

“We have gone to great lengths to support workers during this pandemic and will continue to do so as we rebuild better together,” she added

Speaking from Rideau Cottage on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated that those who received benefit based on gross income rather than net income will not have to repay their CERB payments

“When we launched CERB in March last year, it was because people needed help in the face of a global crisis that only happens once in a generation. Well the pandemic is not over, neither is our support,” Trudeau said / p>

Trudeau said government funding continues to be available to those Canadians who still need assistance, including the Canada Recovery Benefit, Extended Employment Insurance, and Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

The news comes after the federal government announced in January that it would not forego repayments for ineligible CERB recipients despite the rating agency’s internal mix-up that led to weeks of misinformation

As CTVNewsca first reported, some Canadians were asked to stay up to December 14thRefunding $ 000 in CERB Payments 31, 2020 for never being eligible for the benefit To be eligible, self-employed Canadians were required to have an income greater than 5 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to applicationReceived 000 USD

Confusion arose when the rating agency counts self-employment income only as pre-tax net income, even though the word “net” is not included on applications or on the “Who is Eligible” page for CERB

Marc Brière, president of the union representing the CRA call center staff, previously told CTVNewsca that during the first few weeks of the CERB rollout, its representatives were given written instructions incorrectly stating that gross income, not net income, was the Determining a person’s eligibility for CERB He said information was then passed on to callers seeking clarity

Only shortly after the 21st April 2020 – more than two weeks after the application was opened – the rating agency updated a Q&A page online to include a specific language on net income

The CRA admitted CTVNews in December that its news on net and gross income was not clear with its employees and the public

“We regret that this lack of consistent clarity has resulted in some self-employed people mistakenly applying to CERB even though they were not eligible,” said CRA spokeswoman Sylvie Branch

In December, the CRA sent 441000 “educational letters” warning Canadians who had received CERB that they may have to repay the funds by December 31, 2020 because the agency was unable to confirm their eligibility.These letters were sent for various reasons across the net -Gross mix-up went out

During the ministers’ briefing on Tuesday, Qualtrough said that “many of these” people who received the letters have since filed their taxes and are considered eligible

“Ineligible or eligible, we will be working with Canadians to make this as seamless as possible for them, with no need for people to repay now if they are found to be ineligible,” Qualtrough said

In response to Tuesday’s announcement, the Canadian Green Party issued a statement welcoming the change in the so-called “unfair and gruesome Canadian emergency recovery claims to Canada”

“After months of worrying about the recipients, we are delighted to see a fair outcome for many people – retirees, artists, and caregivers among them – who followed the rules and then said they had to make a full repayment”The leader of the Greens, Annamie Paul, said in the statement

“Even so, it didn’t need so much advocacy and class action threats for the government to do the right thing and turn its position around,” she added,

More than 89 million Canadians applied for CERB and $ 81 billion was distributed through the program by September.The government has since rolled out several other assistance programs and re-engineered the labor insurance program to an estimated 2.1 million people who received CERB

The federal government also announced Tuesday that it would be giving Canadians who have received COVID-related income support benefits one year of “targeted interest rate relief”

In a press release, Treasury Secretary Diane Lebouthillier said that individuals filing their 2020 income tax and performance returns will last from last year to Jan. Not having to pay interest on outstanding income tax debt by April 2022

To qualify, Canadians must have a total taxable income of 75% in 2020Have had $ 000 or less and have received income support from one or more of the federal government’s COVID-19 benefits, including:

According to the press release, the rating agency will automatically apply the interest relief measure to people who meet these criteria

Additionally, the federal government says that rating agency managed loans and benefits that are usually paid monthly or quarterly, such as Canadian Child Support and GST / HST Credit, will not be used to reduce individuals’ tax liability for the 2020 tax year. p>

The federal government estimates the interest rate relief will give “45 million low- and middle-income Canadians” more time and flexibility “to feel safe accessing COVID-19 income support without facing additional burdens at tax time”

Lebouthillier said the federal government will “continue to do whatever it takes” to help Canadians overcome the COVID-19 pandemic

“Today’s announcement shows the Canada Revenue Agency’s commitment to putting Canadians at the center of their actions. We will continue to support Canadians as they tackle the many challenges of this pandemic until they get back on their feet,” Lebouthillier said in the Press release

Trudeau admitted Tuesday that the past year has been “quite difficult” for Canadians who lost their jobs or cut their hours

“Right now, I don’t want you to worry about what taxes you might owe,” Trudeau said, adding that the federal government will continue to help Canadians deal with the current health crisis

“Our priority is to make sure you and your family survive this pandemic and get back on your feet,” he said

Carla Qualtrough, Minister for Employment, Personnel Development and Disability Inclusion, will hold a speech on Friday, Nov. July 2020, a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa from THE CANADIAN PRESS / Sean Kilpatrick

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CERB repayment

World News – CA – Some ineligible self-employed CERB recipients will not be forced to repay, government says