2020 has been a hard year, and unfortunately, Canadians have been left with the unsure feeling if CERB truly has helped their finances, or if they have just dug themselves a hidden tax bill.

In this article, we aim to help Canadian’s understand some of the details about CERB.


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To be eligible for CERB:

  • You must reside in Canada and must be at least 15 years old at the time of application.
  • You must have unwantedly stopped working from your casual, part-time, or full-time job in line with the reduction in income pursuant to the $1000/period we discuss later in the article as a direct result of COVID-19 (can apply to self-employed and independent contractors), or you have exhausted the entirety of your Employment Insurance benefits.
  • Your 2019 taxable income must have at least been $5000/year, OR $5000 in the 12 months preceding the application of your CERB payments.
  • Must not have quit your job voluntarily. 
  • The CRA will be comparing your payroll records versus the CERB claim to ensure no mistake or fraudulent claim was processed.
  • You cannot have earned more than $1000 in either 14 or more consecutive days in the four-week period being applied for, or more than $1000 in the entire four-week period being applied for. This includes self-employed income.

Repayment of CERB:

The CRA will submit what is called an information slip to your address on file, whereby your CERB re-payment amount will be listed, and have a due date. Additionally, you must return the CERB payments if you return to work before you anticipated.

What happens if you do not repay the CERB?

Any CERB payment not returned, will be forwarded to your tax profile, and deemed a taxable income that will be owed when you file your personal tax return.

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