Webinar for persons with a modest income: Get your benefits and credits
Please note: The content of this presentation is accurate as of the date it was aired, on February 9, 2022. For the most recent information on these topics, go to the following website: Tax credits and benefits for individuals - Canada.ca
Hello, and welcome.
My name is Robert. I’m with the Canada Revenue Agency, or CRA for short.
I’m very happy to be here today. I will be talking to you about the benefit and credit payments that you could be eligible for, and how to apply for them.
I will also tell you how important it is to do your taxes. It will help ensure you keep getting these benefits.
This is money you can use for everyday expenses like housing, childcare, and food.
I will also touch on the recovery benefits that have been supporting Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am presenting to you from Surrey, which is situated on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish People
We recognize that everyone on the line is joining us from different places. We invite you to take a moment of silence to acknowledge the territory that you are on.
Let’s start with benefits and credits! Did you know that you may be eligible for benefit and credit payments that the CRA administers such as?
- the Canada child benefit,
- the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, more commonly know as the GST/HST credit,
- the Canada workers benefit,
- and the disability tax credit.
You may also be eligible for related federal, provincial or territorial payments.
Let’s take a look at the Canada child benefit.
The Canada child benefit or CCB is a tax-free monthly payment made to the primary caregiver of a child under 18. It helps them with the cost of raising that child.
A primary caregiver can be a parent, another family member, or someone else who is responsible for their care and upbringing.
You could get up to $6,833 per child annually.
Applying for the CCB will also register the child for any related federal, provincial or territorial programs.
Payments are based on the number of children in your care, their ages and your marital status.
The CRA calculates benefit payments every July based on information from each parents’ tax return from the year before.
This is why it’s important for both parents to do their taxes on time every year, even if you have no income. If they don’t, their CCB payments could be interrupted.
To be eligible for the CCB, you must meet all of the following conditions:
- You must live with the child, and the child must be under 18 years of age.
- You must be primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child.
- And, you must be a resident of Canada for tax purposes.
You or your spouse or common-law partner must also be one of the following:
- a Canadian citizen
- a permanent resident
- a protected person
- a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for the previous 18 months, and who has a valid permit in the 19th month
- or, an Indigenous person who meets the definition of "Indian" under the Indian Act.
You are primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child if you:
- supervise the child’s daily activities and needs,
- make sure the child’s medical needs are met and,
- arrange for child care when necessary.
You are not considered the person who is primarily responsible if the child is legally, physically, or financially maintained by a child welfare agency. If this is the case, the agency may receive the children’s special allowance for their care.
You should apply for the CCB as soon as possible after your child is born, after a child starts to live with you, or as soon as you or your spouse or common-law partner meet the eligibility conditions.
You should apply even if you share custody of a child or a child is living with you for a determined temporary period of time.
If you meet all of the eligibility criteria that I just mentioned, you can apply for the CCB in one of three ways:
- you can use the Automated Benefits Application, when you register your newborn’s birth with your province or territory. With your consent, the information will be shared securely with the CRA.
- you can use the Apply for child benefits feature in the CRA’s online portal, My Account or
- you can fill out Form RC66, Canada child benefit, which can be found on our webpage, and send it to the CRA.
Note that the automated benefits application is offered in all provinces and the Northwest Territories. The territories of Yukon and Nunavut will offer this service soon.
You should only apply once. Re-applying using a different way may cause a delay in getting your payments.
You don’t have to re-apply every year, but you and your spouse of common-law partner must do your taxes every year.
If you have another child after you’ve applied, you will need to apply for that child and any later children.
If you are eligible but never applied for the CCB, you can apply now to receive payments from up to 10 years ago.
To do this, you will have to provide supporting documents and do your taxes for those years, if you haven’t already done them.
Do you share custody of your child?
The CRA considers that a child is in shared custody situation when the child lives part of the time with you and part of the time with another individual at a different address on an approximately equal basis.
For example, a child could live:
- four days with one person and three days with the other, or
- one week with one person and the next week with the other, or it could be
- any other regular, alternating cycle.
When the child lives with them, both people must be primarily responsible for their care and upbringing.
Each eligible person will get half of the payment they would have received if the child lived with them full-time.
If your child lives with you and the other parent in the same home, you are not in a shared custody situation.
Let's move on to the GST/HST credit.
The GST/HST credit, is a tax-free payment. It helps individuals and families with a low or modest income offset some of the tax they pay through GST or HST.
You don't have to apply. When you do your taxes, the CRA will determine if you are eligible.
If you're eligible, you could get up to $456 per year if you're single, and up to $598 if you're married or have a common law partner.
If you have children under the age of 19, you could receive up to an additional $157 per child.
For example, if you're single with one child, you could receive up to $755 per year and a couple with 2 children could get up to $912 per year.
You could also be eligible for related provincial or territorial credits. The payment is issued 4 times a year, around the 5th of July, October, January and April.
Only one person in a marriage or common-law relationship can receive the credit. The amount will be the same no matter who gets it.
You may be eligible for this credit if you are a resident of Canada and at least one of the following applies:
- You are 19 years of age or older before the month in which the CRA issues a payment;
- You have, or previously had, a spouse or common-law partner; or
- You are, or previously were, a parent and live, or lived with your child.
The CWB is a refundable tax credit that provides a financial boost to individuals and families who are in the workforce and earning a low-income. The CWB has 2 parts; a basic amount and a disability supplement for those with an approved disability tax credit certificate.
For single individuals, the maximum basic amount is $1,395 a year.
The amount is gradually reduced if your adjusted net income is more than $22,944.
For families, the maximum basic amount is $2,403 a year.
The amount is gradually reduced if your adjusted family net income is more than $26,177.
The maximum CWB payment will be different for residents of Alberta, Nunavut, and Quebec.
Let's look into the eligibility for the Canada workers benefit. In addition to having earned working income, you must be:
- a resident of Canada for income tax purposes throughout the year, and
- 19 years of age or older on December 31. However, you may be eligible if you are under 19 and resided with your spouse or common-law partner, or your child on December 31.
You cannot claim the CWB:
- If you were enrolled as a full-time student at a designated educational institution for a total of more than 13 weeks in the year, unless you had an eligible dependant at the end of the year;
- If you were confined to a prison or similar institution for a period of at least 90 days during the year;
- Or, if you don't have to pay tax in Canada because you are an officer or servant of another country, such as a diplomat, or you are a family member or employee of such a person.
You apply for the CWB when you do your taxes.
If you use tax software, it will automatically calculate the benefit for you. If you file on paper, you need to fill out Schedule 6, found in the tax package for your province or territory.
You may be able to apply for CWB advance payments.
If you are able to estimate your working income for the upcoming year, you could receive up to half of your benefit as an advance payment.
The advance will be paid out in up to four separate payments throughout the year in April, July, October, and January.
You must report these payments on your income tax return.
The fastest way to apply for advance payments is online through the CRA's My Account.
Applications for CWB advance payments are only accepted between January 1st and August 31st.
The disability tax credit, DTC for short, is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting family members reduce the income tax they may have to pay.
The purpose of the DTC is to provide some relief for unavoidable, additional expenses that result from living with a disability. It helps to offset costs other taxpayers don't have to face.
For more information on the disability tax credit, go to the first web address on your screen.
We also have webinars in our video gallery on how to apply for the DTC and for benefits and credits related to the DTC, such as the child disability benefit and the Canada workers benefit disability supplement.
You can view these webinars at the second web address on your screen.
To find out what benefits you may be eligible for, you can use the Benefits Finder online. By answering a few questions, the Benefits Finder will customize a list of benefits for which you may be eligible. Go to the first web address on your screen.
If you want to get an estimate of the payment amounts you could get, go to the second web address on your screen. This tool calculates any federal and provincial or territorial payments you may be eligible for.
To continue helping Canadians during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the following benefits are available:
- Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
Each benefit has specific eligibility criteria and payment amounts.
I will describe each of these benefits. You can find more information by visiting the web address on your screen.
The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit provides $300 a week ($270 after taxes withheld) to individuals who are employed and self-employed, but are unable to work, due to a local lockdown order in place anytime between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.
From December 19, 2021 to February 12, 2022, there is a expanded eligibility to include provincial and territorial orders involving capacity restrictions of 50 per cent or more.
Individuals can only apply for the worker lockdown benefit if their region is impacted by a lockdown order which was approved through an Order in Council.
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they're sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
The recovery sickness benefit provides a payment of $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period you apply for.
You can apply for a maximum of 6 weeks between September 27, 2020 and May 7, 2022. The 6 weeks do not have to be taken consecutively.
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care.
This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they're sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19.
The recovery caregiving benefit provides a payment of $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) per household for each 1-week period applied for.
Only one eligible individual per household (living as a family at the same address) can apply for the benefit per week.
Each household can apply up to a maximum of 44 periods between September 27, 2020 and May 7, 2022. The 44 weeks do not need to be taken consecutively.
You can apply for all of these benefits online through My Account.
If you sign up for direct deposit you should receive your payment within 3 to 5 days. Otherwise, you will receive a cheque by mail within 10 to 12 business days.
The COVID-19 benefit payments you receive must be reported as income when you do your taxes.
The key to receiving your benefits and credits is doing your taxes…. On time! We know it's not a fun process and can be a bit scary for some.
But it's so important!
Filing your taxes is the only way to get the many benefits and credits that are calculated based on your income.
This includes the benefits and credits I mentioned; the Canada child benefit, the GST/HST credit, and the Canada workers benefit.
So even if you didn't earn any income in the year, or your income was tax-exempt, we need this information.
The deadline to do your taxes is generally April 30 every year.
Filing by then allows us to calculate your payments and send them to you on time.
There are a few ways to do your taxes:
Doing your taxes online is the fastest and easiest way. You can use tax software or a web application. These are available at the first web address shown on the screen. Tax software guides you through the process and calculates everything for you. It helps make sure you don't miss out on any benefits and credits. Some products are even free!
Volunteers may be able to help you do your taxes for free. There are tax clinics hosted by community organizations across Canada for those with a modest income and simple tax situation. For more information, go to the second web address on your screen.
You can also get help from a family member, a friend, or a tax preparer.
Or, you can download a tax package, fill out the paper forms and mail them to the CRA. You must use the package for the province you lived in on December 31.
To get a package, go to the last web address or call the number on your screen.
You' re eligible to have your taxes done through the program if you have a modest income and a simple tax situation.
Generally, a modest income is less than $35,000 for a single person and less than $45,000 for a couple.
Your tax situation is simple if you don't have a small business or income from a rental property.
Tax clinics are held all year. However, most clinics are offered in March and April.
During the pandemic, we have created virtual tax clinics to serve those who may not have access to an in-person location.
For more information or to find a clinic near you, go to the web address on the screen.
The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program I just mentioned is always looking for volunteers!
You can volunteer at a virtual tax clinic and help people do their taxes by videoconference, by phone, or through document drop-off.
As a volunteer, you'll be helping people in your community get benefits and credits like the ones we talked about today.
Register to volunteer online at the address on your screen.
The CRA will sometimes send you a questionnaire or letter if we need more information and to make sure you're getting the right benefits and credits.
If you get one of these letters, don't ignore it. You need to respond as soon as possible. Often, we will ask for documents, to confirm that the CRA has the most up-to-date information for you, like, proof of a change in your marital status, a child's primary caregiver, or your address.
If you don't have the documents, need some extra time to gather them, or don't understand what we're asking, just let the CRA know.
The CRA needs this information to calculate your benefits and credits.
If you don't respond, your benefit or credit payments will stop and you may have to repay the payments you already received.
We know that some situations can affect your access to benefits and credits, but we're here to help!
You will never need to contact an abusive spouse or common-law partner to provide information to the CRA.
If you are in a situation of abuse or violence and cannot get the requested documents, you can send any of the following:
- a copy of a police report,
- a copy of a restraining order or an order of protection, or,
- a letter from a trusted third party explaining your situation, for example:
- a member of the clergy,
- a band council,
- a shelter
- or a resettlement office.
After the CRA receives the documents, no further action is required on your part.
Along with doing your taxes every year, you must keep your personal information up to date to keep getting benefits and credits.
This includes your address, marital status, number of children in your care and direct deposit information.
You can update this information using My Account, the MyBenefits CRA mobile application, by mail, or an agent can assist by phone.
If you don't have a permanent home and are staying in a shelter, you can use the shelter's address to keep getting your payments and mail from the CRA.
If you move, let us know your new address right away. Otherwise your payments may stop.
As mentioned, you can update your personal information through the CRA's online service, My Account.
My Account is a secure portal that lets you view your tax and benefit information and manage your taxes online.
You can do things, like:
- track your refund,
- view or change your return,
- view online mail such as your notice of assessment,
- check your benefit and credit payments and statements,
- set up direct deposit,
- change your personal information, and more.
For more information or to sign up, go to the web address on your screen.
There are many reasons you may have an uncashed cheque from the CRA.
It may have been lost, stolen, or destroyed, or you may have moved and not updated your address.
You can view any uncashed cheques in My Account and, if necessary, ask for a duplicate payment.
CRA cheques never expire or become stale-dated and you can cash them for free at any financial institution in Canada.
Never miss another payment by signing up for direct deposit.
For more information, go to the web address on your screen.
You might need to provide proof of income to a bank or a landlord.
You can get your proof of income statement online using My Account or by mail by calling the Tax information phone service, at the number on your screen. The information will be mailed to the address CRA has on file.
Taxpayer information is confidential. The CRA needs your permission to deal with another person, such as a family member, friend, or an accountant, who may act as your representative for income tax and benefit matters.
You can give permission to another person in My Account, or on paper by filling out Form AUT-01, Authorize a Representative for Offline Access, and sending it to the CRA.
Make sure to choose someone you can trust!
You don't need to authorize someone as a representative if that person is only doing your taxes.
Now, I will give you an overview of what to expect if the CRA contacts you and some tips to help you be scam smart. It's important to first understand and recognize the different types of scams.
Be careful when you get a telephone call, a text message, an email, or mail from someone claiming to be from the CRA.
This is especially true if it asks for personal information such as the number on your credit card, bank account, or a passport.
These messages may insist that personal information is needed so that you can receive a refund or a benefit payment. They can also threaten legal consequences to scare you into paying a debt to the CRA that does not actually exist.
There are also other communications that may urge taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where you are asked to verify your identity by entering personal information.
These are scams! And, you should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided.
It's important to be vigilant when it comes to scammers. The CRA can contact you by telephone. They may call:
- If you owe tax or money to a government program. A collections officer may call you to discuss your file and ask you to make a payment. In this case, you may need to provide some information about your household financial situation.
- Or if they have questions about the tax and benefit records or documents you sent. A CRA officer may call you for more information.
When the CRA calls you, they may verify your identity by asking for personal information such as your full name, date of birth, address and account, or social insurance number.
Remember, the CRA will not demand immediate payments with gift cards, pre-paid credit cards, or bitcoin. The CRA won't say the police is coming or threaten a prison sentence or deportation.
You may think that you received a text message or email from the CRA. But did you really?
There may be times when the CRA will notify you by email when a new message or a document, such as a notice of assessment or reassessment, is available for you to view in secure CRA portals such as My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client. Or, you may have subscribed to receive an email notification about an upcoming benefit payment.
Note that we will never ask you to provide personal information in return by email. However, the CRA may email you a link to a CRA webpage, form, or publication that you asked for during a telephone call. Also, the CRA will not use instant messaging such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to communicate with you about tax-related issues under any circumstance. If you receive a text or instant message claiming to be from the CRA, beware since it could be a scam!
When in doubt, check if you have mail or any amount owing in My Account. If you don’t, make sure to delete what you received.
Never click on the link before you are sure it comes from the CRA.
You can also contact the CRA. And visit the link on your screen to learn more!
You can report a scam to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at the web address or the phone number on your screen.
If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud, contact your local police service.
Do taxes confuse you? Do you want to learn more about taxes and how to do a tax return?
We can help. Check out our free online interactive tool, Learn about your taxes.
Through simple and interactive web content, you will learn what you need when starting your first job, figuring out your paycheque, what you need to know before doing your taxes and how to do a basic tax return.
It has resources such as a videos, common tax terms, and links to websites where you can learn more.
More topics will be added including what you should know after doing your taxes and more on benefit and credits.
Be sure to check it out at the address on your screen!
And that's all for me! This is the end of the webinar. Thank you so much for joining us today! We hope it was helpful!
Thank you for listening and enjoy your day!
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: