Unclear wording of CERB eligibility means some recipients asked to pay everything back

taxslave

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Nov 25, 2008
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'We're not going to have a Christmas,' says woman told to repay $18,500 in CERB by year's end​



So my question is, what if you tell Revenue Canada to go fly.. don't have the money.. are they going to put you in jail, free room and board and meals. :unsure:
People just have to learn how to deal with CRA. Send them $5 a month and there is nothing they can do. Mostly they are not that unreasonable to deal with.
 

justfred

Electoral Member
Dec 26, 2004
115
6
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Drumheller
Some of the largest tax cheaters, as a group are self employed, and restaurant owners. Self employed are always complaining they cannot get a mortgage as they only earn enough, on their tax return to just get over the basic exemption, so they do not pay tax. We should ask what percentage of restaurants pay any tax?
 

bob the dog

Electoral Member
Aug 14, 2020
885
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I'm trying to talk the bowling alley owner into cutting me a T4 for $5500. He gets the write off and I get the CERB. Fingers crossed.
 

spaminator

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Seniors cut off from income supplement after receiving emergency benefits
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Christopher Reynolds
Publishing date:Aug 05, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 3 minute read • 8 Comments
CERB cheques are pictured in this file photo.
CERB cheques are pictured in this file photo. PHOTO BY FILE PHOTO /Postmedia Network
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OTTAWA — Chris Sherlock is facing possible eviction because of unanticipated clawbacks to the guaranteed income supplement for seniors.

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The 65-year-old resident of British Columbia’s Cowichan Valley drew on emergency benefits last year after the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out his part-time work as a musician.


Now the $2,000 a month in Canada Emergency Response Benefit he received through much of 2020 has rendered him ineligible for the income supplement typically available to low-income seniors.

“This comes as a complete shock to me,” said Sherlock, who worked on contract as a tree planter for two decades and has no company pension.

“No one … warned me that I would be losing my guaranteed income supplement because of this. There was nothing about having your pension cut in half for the next two years.”

Sherlock is not the only one blindsided.


New Democrats and Greens say they’ve have been flooded with calls from Canadians aged 65 and up who suddenly find themselves cut off from monthly government payments due to the pandemic benefits they relied on last year.

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In a letter sent to three Liberal cabinet ministers, NDP MP Daniel Blaikie said many seniors who received the CERB and Canada Recovery Benefit either do not qualify for the guaranteed income supplement or face drastic deductions to it.

“They’re just not going to have enough income at the end of the month in order to pay their bills. And what we feared would happen last year will end up happening this year,” Blaikie said in an interview.

“It’s not right of us to do this to Canada’s poorest seniors.”

Blaikie is calling for a “prompt solution” and hoping that the federal government will change its approach to slashing the guaranteed income supplement based on benefits.

“While the CRA’s decision may align with government policy, it fails to account for the costly ramifications of forcing low-income seniors into greater poverty,” said Green MP Paul Manly in a letter to National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough and Seniors Minister Deb Schulte on July 29.

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“I don’t believe that the people affected by this understood how receiving the CERB might impact them so negatively later on.”

Like employment insurance, the guaranteed income supplement (GIS) is income-tested. That means the previous year’s taxable earnings – including emergency benefits – factor into how much gets doled out in the next payment period (recipients are notified of their entitlements each July).

“This may result in a loss of entitlement if the person’s income (or joint income, where applicable) exceeds the threshold at which GIS benefits are completely phased out,” said Employment and Social Development Canada spokesman Samuelle Carbonneau in an email.

For single seniors, GIS benefits kick in if they make less than $18,984 annually, with a monthly maximum of $936. The eligibility threshold for couples is $45,504.

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Data on the total number of GIS recipients who had their payments reduced this year is not currently available, Carbonneau said.

Seniors continue to receive their full old age security and CPP pensions, which in Sherlock’s case add up to $783 after the government knocked nearly $500 in GIS off his monthly income. The two pension streams are now his main source of financial support through June 2022, and do not cover his rent and utilities.

Sherlock said he put last year’s emergency benefits toward dental work, car repairs and old bills, but he hadn’t budgeted for a smaller income as a consequence of the CERB and its successor, the CRB (he stopped receiving the benefit a few months ago).

“I’ve got no money and I can’t pay my rent,” he said.

“It’s sort of like if you saw a little old dog in the street, offered it a treat and then hit it on the head with a baseball bat for taking that treat.”

Those a decade older than Sherlock have a slightly bigger cushion to fall back on.

Starting the week of Aug. 16, the government will provide a one-time payment of $500 to every senior who will be 75 and over by the summer of 2022.

And come next summer, the Liberals are also proposing a 10 per cent boost in old age security for those over 75, which the budget estimated would provide an extra $766 in benefits to 3.3 million retirees.
 

spaminator

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Receipt of seniors' income supplement hinged partly on what agency handled their CERB
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Aug 11, 2021 • 19 hours ago • 4 minute read • 22 Comments
CERB cheques are pictured in this file photo.
CERB cheques are pictured in this file photo. PHOTO BY FILE PHOTO /Postmedia Network
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OTTAWA — An internal government document is shining a light on how low-income seniors were abruptly cut off from monthly federal payments based on which bureaucratic body handled their emergency benefits last year.

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A departmental directive from Service Canada, obtained by The Canadian Press, elaborates on how the Canada Emergency Response Benefit was in fact two programs portrayed as one for simplicity of communication, though they had different criteria.

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One stream — processed by the Canada Revenue Agency — was for recipients whose income was considered uninsurable, such as self-employed Canadians, while the other stream — delivered by Service Canada — was for those with insurable earnings.

The former meant relief benefits would be deducted from low-income seniors’ guaranteed income supplement (GIS,) while the latter did not.

Pandemic benefits for those in the second camp “can be excluded from their income amount when applying for GIS,” the directive states.

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Starr Therrien, a 63-year-old Ontario flower shop owner who lost her husband in November and was slated to receive his income supplement, finds herself cut off for the coming year from $8,400 largely due to the CERB she drew on for three months in 2020.

“Why wasn’t there a flag when people like me were collecting the CERB?” she asked in an interview.

“I know the government was really strapped for time … But there were no warnings saying, ‘These are the implications, you need to be aware of this 12 months from now and how it will affect your life’ — $8,400 is a lot of money, no matter who you are.”


Conservative MP Rosemarie Falk said the situation could have been prevented with clearer communication and a more streamlined bureaucratic process, calling the clawbacks “unacceptable.”

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“Despite meeting the eligibility requirements, these seniors have been arbitrarily penalized based on the stream these funds came through,” Falk wrote in a letter dated Aug. 9. to Seniors Minister Deb Schulte.

The $2,000-per-month CERB amounted to “two entirely different relief programs, distributed by different government agencies and with different eligibility criteria,” though seniors were never informed, she said.

“Your government must rectify this situation for the sake of the financial stability and security of our most vulnerable.”

While the dual-stream complication did not come to light until this week, opposition legislators say they’ve been flooded with calls from Canadians aged 65 and up who suddenly saw their monthly budget tossed out the window amid drastic dips in government supports due to the pandemic benefits they relied on last year.

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Green MP Paul Manly highlighted the “costly ramifications of forcing low-income seniors into greater poverty” in a July 29 letter to Schulte, National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier and Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough.

New Democrat MP Daniel Blaikie called last week for a “prompt solution” after many seniors who received the CERB and its successor, the Canada Recovery Benefit, either do not qualify for the income supplement or face drastic deductions to it.

Like employment insurance, the guaranteed income supplement is income-tested. That means the previous year’s taxable earnings — including most emergency benefits — factor into how much gets doled out in the next payment period (recipients are notified of their entitlements each July.)

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“This may result in a loss of entitlement if the person’s income (or joint income, where applicable) exceeds the threshold at which GIS benefits are completely phased out,” said Employment and Social Development Canada spokesman Samuelle Carbonneau in an email last week.

The split-program wrinkle added another line to a sometimes garbled calculation.+


“For simplicity of communication to the public, the two programs were communicated as one Canada emergency response benefit. The objective was to ensure that Canadians applying for either income support … were treated in a similar manner,” states a May 12 note in the Canada Gazette, the official record of government decisions.

As CERB began to roll out, information relayed by CRA call centre agents on self-employment income was “unclear and incorrect,” resulting in improperly stated earnings, the note says.

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Jack Partridge, 77, said he lost $350 in monthly GIS after drawing on four months’ worth of CERB when his hours were severely cut back at the technical sales centre where he does maintenance and warehousing work.

“I was never told,” said the resident of Brantford, Ont.

“They say it’s going to all even out in 2021. That may be fine and dandy from their standpoint. But it’s not fine and dandy from my standpoint.”

For single seniors, GIS benefits kick in if they make less than $18,984 annually, with a monthly maximum of $936. The eligibility threshold for couples is $45,504.

Data on the total number of GIS recipients who had their payments reduced this year is not currently available, Carbonneau said.

Seniors continue to receive their full old age security and CPP pensions.
 

taxslave

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Nov 25, 2008
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Fact is many people thought they could latch on to some free taxpayer money. The "penalties" they are facing are no different that those of us that retired last year. OAP is based on the previous year's income, so most people are not going to receive the full benefit the first year of retirement. Anyone already col;ecting a pension should not have even applied for CERB.
 

Dixie Cup

House Member
Sep 16, 2006
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But Toronto tax lawyer David Rotfleisch says there may be a straight-forward option for these CERB recipients to avoid the repayments.

"There is no obligation for a taxpayer to claim expenses," says Rotfleisch, founder of Rotfleisch and Samulovitch Professional Corporation.

Self-employed CERB recipients who have filed their 2019 taxes should be able to easily amend their return by filing a T1-ADJ form on which they can reduce the expenses they claimed so that their net income rises above the $5,000 eligibility threshold, Rotfleisch says.

Read more: CERB was collected by high-income earners, new data shows

"By potentially paying some tax ... you will be able to claim and keep the whole CERB," Rotfleisch says.

Gennaro De Luca, a certified financial planner who regularly helps small business owners with their taxes, also says amending one's tax return should be "an easy way" to adjust net income reported to the CRA.

"If, in fact, your gross revenue was above $5,000, you could eliminate some of your expenses and get your net revenue of $5,000 to fix that," he says......More Here
Actually, he's right - one doesn't HAVE to claim expenses if he doesn't mind paying more in taxes. I'm surprised at these businesses - why wouldn't you ask if it was based on gross or net income. They should know that tax is paid on net. Oh well, blame it on covid anxiety.
 
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Twin_Moose

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Actually, he's right - one doesn't HAVE to claim expenses if he doesn't mind paying more in taxes. I'm surprised at these businesses - why wouldn't you ask if it was based on gross or net income. They should know that tax is paid on net. Oh well, blame it on covid anxiety.
Has any welfare or treaty recipients been forced to pay back their CERB money yet? I'm curious because I never ran across any news on it

Not to pick on you I just used your post as a springboard to my question.
 

taxslave

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Has any welfare or treaty recipients been forced to pay back their CERB money yet? I'm curious because I never ran across any news on it

Not to pick on you I just used your post as a springboard to my question.
How could one collect CERB if they are on welfare. Or maybe a better question would be why would anyone collect welfare when they can get CERB?
 
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spaminator

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Some CERB recipients set to get notices they must repay portion of aid money
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Nov 25, 2021 • 5 hours ago • 1 minute read • 9 Comments
CERB cheques are pictured in this file photo.
CERB cheques are pictured in this file photo. PHOTO BY FILE PHOTO /Postmedia Network
Article content
OTTAWA — Some Canadians who received a pandemic jobless benefit are set to receive notices that they have to repay some of the aid they received last year.

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The Canada Emergency Response Benefit was rolled out at the onset of the pandemic during a historic drop in the labour market — three million jobs lost and two million people with hours cut. The government sent $2,000 payments to some recipients who applied through Service Canada as an advance on the first four weeks to help households who saw sudden loss of earnings.


The idea was to reconcile the payment at some point during the time CERB was available, which is why many who got the advance saw a break in benefits during the summer of 2020.

The government now says there are still recipients who owe some or all of the $2,000, specifically those who were not entitled to the aid or didn’t collect CERB for at least 20 weeks.


Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says anyone who needs it will get a flexible repayment schedule and there will be no penalties or interest charged on the overpayment.

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CERB cheques are pictured in this file photo.
Receipt of seniors' income supplement hinged partly on what agency handled their CERB
CERB cheques are pictured in this file photo.
OPINION: CERB problems underscore problems with universal basic income

“Canadians will not be put into financial hardship by having to repay emergency benefits they received,” Qualtrough says in a statement.

Those who owe money will get a notice from Service Canada outlining how much they owe, the process to repay, and how they can appeal the decision.
 
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