Webinar for newcomers: Learn about benefits and credits
Slide 1 (Title Slide)
Nicole: Hello, and welcome to the Canada Revenue Agency’s webinar for newcomers.
My name is Nicole and I’m your host. Today, I’ll talk about the benefits and credits you can receive and the services we have to help you with your taxes.
Now, let’s get started.
Slide 2 (Topics we’ll cover)
Nicole: During this presentation, I will tell you about:
- the Canadian tax system,
- some of the benefits and credits you could get,
- how to keep getting your payments,
- how to manage your tax and benefit affairs securely and protect yourself against scams,
- some of the services and tools the Canada Revenue Agency offers,
- and at the end of the presentation, I’ll discuss the new recovery benefits that have been supporting Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note that for the rest of the presentation, I’ll be calling the Canada Revenue Agency “the CRA.”
Slide 3 (Canadian tax system)
Nicole: The CRA administers tax laws for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories. The CRA is also responsible for federal, provincial, and territorial programs funded through the tax system.
These programs provide benefit and credit payments to help people like you and families.
Canada’s tax system is based on self-assessment. We rely on people to voluntarily do their taxes and to tell us about the money they make from January 1st to December 31st each year.
You do this by completing and sending us a form called an income tax and benefit return.
You need to do your taxes to receive any benefit and credit payments you may be eligible for. The CRA uses information from your tax return to calculate these payments.
For more information on the Canadian tax system and how to do your first income tax and benefit return as a resident, go to the web address on your screen.
Slide 4 (Residency status for tax purposes)
Nicole: As a newcomer to Canada, you don’t have to file a tax return the year you become a resident of Canada. However, you will have to do your taxes by April 30th the next year. This first tax return will report the income you received from the date you became a resident of Canada until December 31st that same year.
So, if you become a resident in February 2020, you won’t have to do taxes in 2020. But you will have to file taxes in 2021 by the deadline of April 30. These taxes will be for the period you were a resident in 2020 – so February to December.
You become a resident of Canada for income tax purposes when you establish significant ties in Canada. And usually, you establish these ties on the date you arrive in Canada. Significant residential ties to Canada include:
- a home in Canada,
- a spouse or common-law partner in Canada,
- and dependants who move to Canada to live with you.
Note that your residency status for tax purposes is different from your immigration status.
For more information on residency and citizenship requirements, go to the web address on your screen.
Slide 5 (Do you have to file a return)
Nicole: If you’ve only lived in Canada for part of the year, you may still have to do your taxes.
There are certain situations when doing your taxes is mandatory. For example, if you have to pay tax, or if the CRA sent you a request to do so. By completing a tax return and reporting income from all sources, both inside and outside of Canada, you can calculate whether tax is owed or a refund will be issued.
But even if you don’t have to do your taxes, it can be a good idea.
For instance, you’ll need to do your taxes to claim a tax refund or get benefit and credit payments. You could be eligible for payments even if you didn’t earn an income.
For a complete list of when you need to do your taxes, you can refer to the section “Do you have to file a tax return?” on the web address on your screen or in the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.
Slide 6 (Social insurance number (SIN))
Nicole: To work in Canada and receive benefits and services from the government, you need a social insurance number (also called a SIN, for short).
To get a SIN, you can apply online or by mail. If you are unable to do so, you can request an appointment to apply in person at some locations. Go to the web address on your screen to find out if your local Service Canada Centre is open.
For more information on how to get a SIN, go to the web address shown on your screen or call Service Canada at 1-866-274-6627.
If you don’t meet Service Canada’s eligibility criteria for a SIN, you can still apply for benefits and credits with the CRA. To do so, send us your benefit and credit applications with a note explaining why you cannot get a SIN. Along with the note, you will need to include a photocopy of any document that proves your or your spouse's or common-law partner's identity. This could be a:
- driver’s licence;
- visitor record
- study permit, or
- temporary resident permit;
Or, any document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
The CRA will then give you a temporary tax number you can use on your application forms and on your income tax and benefit return, until you get your SIN.
Slide 7 (Benefits and credits you could get)
Nicole: The benefits and credits I’ll be talking about today are the:
- Canada child benefit,
- goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit,
- disability tax credit and
- child disability benefit.
I’ll also quickly go over the deductions that are available for Canada’s northern residents.
At the end of the presentation, I’ll discuss the changes to the Employment Insurance program and the new recovery benefits that are supporting Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The provinces and territories also have several benefits and credits that you may be able to get just by applying for the programs shown on your screen. You can learn more about them by visiting Canada.ca and searching for “Provincial and territorial programs.”
But before you can get any of these, you have to do your taxes.
Slide 8 (Do your taxes on time)
Nicole: Most of the benefit and credit payments I just mentioned are calculated based on your adjusted family net income. This is why you need to do your taxes every year after you become a resident of Canada. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to do their taxes.
Generally, your Canadian income tax and benefit return is due on April 30. This means that your return for January 1 to December 31, 2020 is due April 30, 2021.
Doing your taxes on time ensures your benefit and credit payments aren’t delayed or stopped. It lets the CRA calculate your payments for July of the current year until June of the next year.
Slide 9 (Ways to do your taxes)
Nicole: The fastest and easiest way to do your taxes is online. You can use free tax software or a web application, available at the first web address shown on your screen.
The tax software:
- guides you through the process of doing your taxes.
- calculates everything for you.
- and helps make sure you don’t miss out on any benefits and credits.
You can also do your taxes on paper. You can print the tax package for your province, or you can call the CRA to get one mailed to you. More info is at the second web address on your screen.
If doing your taxes is a little too intimidating, you can find out if you’re eligible for help at a free tax clinic. I’ll tell you all about this service later.
Slide 10 (Canada child benefit)
Nicole: Now, let’s discuss the benefits and credits you could get.
The Canada child benefit, or CCB for short, is a tax-free monthly payment that helps with the cost of raising children.
You may be eligible for the CCB if you live with a child and are responsible for that child’s daily activities and needs.
Depending on the age of your child and your family’s net income, you can get up to $6,765 per child under 6, and up to $5,708 per child aged 6 to 17, each year.
The CCB is paid to the primary caregiver of a child who is under 18.
The CCB payment will increase in July 2021 to keep up with the increased cost of living.
To get the CCB, you have to be a resident of Canada for income tax purposes.
You or your spouse or common-law partner must also meet one of the following statuses in Canada. You must be:
- a Canadian citizen,
- a permanent resident,
- an Indigenous person who meets the definition of "Indian" under the Indian Act,
- a protected person,
- or a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for 18 continuous months prior to applying and who continues to hold a valid permit.
Applying for the CCB will also register your child for most related provincial or territorial child benefit and credit payments.
If you live in Quebec, additional assistance to help with the cost of raising a family is available. However, you will need to apply separately through Retraite Québec to get these provincial child assistance payments.
Now, I’ll talk about how you can apply for the CCB…
Slide 11 (How do you get the CCB?)
Nicole: New residents of Canada can apply for the CCB by filling out two forms and mailing them to the CRA.
The two forms are:
- Form RC66, called Canada Child Benefits Application, and
- Schedule RC66SCH, called Status in Canada and Income Information for the Canada Child Benefits Application.
If your children weren’t born in Canada, you’ll have to send us proof of birth with your forms. This is a document that shows the child’s full name and date of birth, such as a photocopy of a birth certificate or a birth registration. A list of all the documents you can provide is found on the back of Form RC66.
If you came to Canada in difficult circumstances and are having a hard time getting this paperwork, call the CRA at the number shown at the bottom of your screen. We may be able to suggest other documents to send us.
On the schedule, you will have to include information about your and your spouse or common-law partner's residency, and citizenship and immigration statuses.
You’ll also need to provide your income from all sources not reported on a Canadian tax return, for up to two years, depending on the date you became residents of Canada.
You have to include income information, even if it’s zero. The CRA needs this information to calculate your payments.
If you’re eligible, it will take about 11 weeks to get your first CCB payment. To avoid delays, please make sure to include all of the information requested on your application.
You only have to apply once to get the CCB for a child, but if you have another child, you’ll have to send another application for them.
The mother should apply for the CCB if the child lives with both their mother and father in the same home.
The father can apply, but he will need to include a letter from the child’s mother saying he is the primary caregiver of the child.
If the child lives with same-sex parents, only one parent should apply for the CCB.
Slide 12 (Do you share custody?)
Nicole: Form RC66 asks if you’re in a shared custody situation for your child. Shared custody means that the child lives part of the time with you, and part of the time with the other parent, in separate homes.
For example, the child lives with one parent four days a week and then the other parent three days a week. Or maybe, the child lives with one parent one week and the other parent the next. It can be any other similar, regular cycle of alternation.
In these cases, both parents may be considered primarily responsible for the child's care and upbringing. That means each parent would get half of the payment.
If your child lives with you and the other parent in the same home, you are not in a shared custody situation for CCB purposes. In this case, you would tick the “No” box for this question on Form RC66.
Slide 13 (GST/HST credit)
Nicole: I’ll now move on to the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, more commonly known as the GST/HST credit.
This is a tax-free payment for people with a modest income. And, it helps with the GST or HST they pay.
You could get up to $592 per year if you’re married or living common-law or up to $451 if you’re single.
The GST/HST credit payment will increase in July 2021 to keep up with the increased cost of living.
To be eligible for the GST/HST credit, you must be a resident of Canada for income tax purposes and be 19 years or older.
You could also be eligible for the credit if you’re under 19 and you’re the parent of a child that lives with you, or you have a spouse or common-law partner.
If you applied for the CCB for your children, they’re automatically registered for the GST/HST credit and you’ll get up to $155 additionally per year, per child, as long as the child is eligible. And you may get related provincial or territorial payments, too!
Slide 14 (How do you get the GST/HST credit?)
Nicole: Newcomers to Canada have to apply for the GST/HST credit using Form RC151, called GST/HST Credit Application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada.
You only have to apply once, in the year you became a resident of Canada.
After that, the CRA will determine if you’re eligible when you do your taxes every year.
On your application, you’ll have to include your income from all sources that was not reported on a Canadian tax return for up to two years, depending on the date you became a resident of Canada.
If you have a spouse or a common-law partner who is also a new resident of Canada, you have to include their income, even if it is zero.
Only one of you can get the GST/HST credit. The amount is the same no matter who gets it.
If you have children and have applied for the CCB, you don’t have to send in Form RC151. The CRA will use information from your CCB application to determine if you’re eligible and calculate amounts.
Now, let’s move on to the disability tax credit…
Slide 15 (Disability Tax Credit)
Nicole: In Canada, we recognize that persons with disabilities face many barriers including additional expenses.
The disability tax credit, or DTC for short, helps persons with disabilities or the family members that support them reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay.
The DTC is a non-refundable tax credit. This means that you don’t get a payment, but it reduces the amount of tax you may have to pay. You can also transfer any unused portion to a supporting family member.
To be eligible, you must be blind, markedly restricted in at least one of the basic activities of daily living, significantly restricted in two or more of the basic activities of daily living, or need life-sustaining therapy.
Your impairment must meet all of the following criteria:
- be prolonged, which means the impairment has lasted, or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, and
- be present all or substantially all the time (at least 90% of the time)
If you’re eligible for the DTC, you can claim up to $8,576 on your income tax and benefit return. You can also claim a supplement of up to $5,003 for persons under the age of 18.
You can claim the DTC for yourself, your dependant, or your spouse or common-law partner.
Also, if you’re eligible for the DTC, it can open the door to other federal programs, like the registered disability savings plan, the child disability benefit or the disability supplement for the Canada Workers Benefit.
To learn more about these credits, go to the web address shown at the bottom of your screen.
Slide 16 (Apply for the DTC)
Nicole: To apply for the DTC, send the CRA Form T2201, called Disability Tax Credit Certificate. There are three steps to applying:
First, fill out Part A of the form with the required personal information.
Second, visit a medical practitioner and have them fill out Part B of the form. Your medical practitioner could be your doctor or nurse practitioner.
They will need to describe how the impairment impacts your ability to do the basic activities of daily living. To see which type of medical practitioner can certify each section of the form, go to the web address on your screen and see “How to fill out Form T2201”.
Third, send the completed form to the address for your region provided on the form or electronically through Submit Documents in My Account. The CRA will then review your application.
If we need more information, we may contact you or your medical practitioner.
When we’ve completed our review, we’ll let you know the result. If you (or your dependant) are eligible, you can claim the disability amount or transfer it to your spouse or supporting family member on your tax return.
To learn more about the DTC, who qualifies as a medical practitioner, and whether you or your dependants are eligible, go to the web address shown at the bottom of your screen.
Once the DTC application has been approved, you can claim the disability amount on your income tax and benefit return for yourself, your dependant, or you can transfer the credit to your spouse or common-law partner.
Slide 17 (Child disability benefit)
Nicole: The child disability benefit is paid to families that care for children under 18 who are eligible for the DTC.
If you receive the Canada child benefit for a child who is also eligible for the DTC, you don’t need to apply for the child disability benefit – you will receive it automatically once the DTC application has been approved for your child.
You could get up to $2,886 per year in addition to your Canada child benefit payments.
Slide 18 (How much could you get?)
Nicole: To get an estimate of the payment amounts we just discussed, go to the web address on your screen. This tool also calculates any provincial or territorial payments you may be eligible for.
Slide 19 (Questions)
Nicole: Let’s take a short break now to address some typical questions that we get.
Question 1: I came to Canada as a permanent resident, does that make me a resident of Canada for tax purposes?
Answer: If you were granted a permanent resident status from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada upon your arrival date in Canada, you would usually become a resident of Canada for income tax purposes on that same date. If you want to have the CRA’s opinion on your residency status, you can send the CRA Form NR74, titled Determination of Residency Status (Entering Canada), which is available on the Canada.ca website.
Question 2: I recently moved to Canada with my 10-year-old son, but my wife will only come live with us in a few months. Since she is not a resident of Canada, do I have to provide her income on my application?
Answer: If your wife is a non-resident of Canada, you will need to fill out Form CTB9, titled Income of Non-Resident Spouse or Common-Law Partner for the Canada child benefit, and send it in to CRA for each year or part of a year that she is a non-resident of Canada.
Question 3: Why do I have to provide the income I earned in past years on my application to get benefit payments? Will I be taxed on that income?
Answer 3: The CRA asks for this information to calculate your benefits, as the amount you are entitled to is based on your income. Your income from last year is used to calculate your benefits from July of this year to June of next year. The income you provide on your statement of income will not be taxed.
I’ll continue with the next part of our webinar, which focuses on how to make sure you keep receiving your benefit payments.
Slide 20 (Keep getting your benefit payments)
Nicole: Once your payments start, there are three things you’ll need to do to keep getting them:
First, make sure you do your taxes for every year after you become a resident of Canada. The CRA can’t calculate your benefit and credit payments without your tax information.
Second, make sure the CRA has your most recent personal information. Notify the CRA of any changes to your address, direct deposit information, marital status, and the number of children in your care.
Third, respond as early as possible to any letters you might get from the CRA. If you need some extra time, contact us.
Slide 21 (Community Volunteer Income Tax Program)
Nicole: As mentioned, you need to do your taxes every year. We understand that not everyone feels comfortable doing their taxes on their own. And paying someone to do your taxes can be expensive.
This is why we work with community organizations to hold free tax clinics through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.
In Quebec, the CRA collaborates with Revenu Quebec to provide a similar program called the Income Tax Assistance - Volunteer Program.
If you have a modest income and simple tax situation, volunteers may be able to do your taxes for free.
Usually, your income is modest and your tax situation is simple if you make less than $35,000 and you don’t have a small business or income from a rental property.
Please note that this year, many clinics are virtual and are being offered online or by phone. We’ve gone virtual to follow health guidance related to the pandemic.
To find a free tax clinic or to get more information, go to the web address shown at the left of your screen.
You can also share information below if you know of a community organizations that might like to host a clinic.
Slide 22 (Update your personal information with the CRA)
Nicole: If there has been a major change in your life, you should update your information with the CRA as soon as possible.
It is important to let the CRA know if there are changes:
- to your mailing or home address, direct deposit information, marital status, and the number of children in your care,
- or if you experience a death in your family.
Along with doing your taxes every year, keeping your information up-to-date will allow you to keep getting the right benefit and credit payments.
Here are some ways you can make these changes:
- you can change your address by phone or by mail using Form RC325, titled Address change request.
- you can change your marital status by phone, online with My Account, or by mail using Form RC65, titled Marital status change.
- As an example, if you separated from your spouse last year, and your benefit payments are being deposited into a joint account, you may want to contact the CRA to update your banking information.
On the bottom of your screen, you’ll find information on how to sign up and start using My Account and the number to call to make these changes.
To learn more about signing up for CRA direct deposit or changing your account information through your financial institution, we encourage you to visit your financial institution’s website.
Slide 23 (Benefit review letters from the CRA)
Nicole: If the CRA needs more information to make sure you’re getting the right benefits and credits, we’ll sometimes send you a questionnaire or letter.
Some people find these letters intimidating, but don’t worry, it’s not unusual to get one.
However, it’s very important that you don’t ignore the letter and that you respond as soon as possible.
The CRA needs this information to calculate your benefits and credits.
If you don’t respond, your benefit or credit payments could stop and you may have to repay the payments you already received.
If you don’t have the documents or need some extra time to gather them, just let the CRA know.
And always contact us if you don’t understand the letter or what we’re asking.
Some of these documents might be hard to find, especially if you came to Canada as a refugee. If this is the case, call the CRA and they’ll let you know what you can send instead.
For example, you may be able to send a letter from a third party, like a sponsor, a resettlement officer, a support service or agency, or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
A full list of acceptable supporting documents can be found at Canada.ca by searching for “Validating your eligibility for benefits and credits.”
Slide 24 (Need more information?)
Nicole: If you have any questions, you can find more information about benefits, credits, and doing your taxes by going to one of the web addresses shown on your screen.
Or, if you prefer, you can call us at the numbers listed.
Slide 25 (New video)
Nicole: A video dedicated to people who are new to Canada is now available on YouTube.
In the video, you can discover more about how to get the benefits and credits you may be eligible for, learn about tax obligations, and where to get free tax help.
This video is available in the languages listed on your screen.
By sharing this video, you can help others learn more about the importance of filing an income tax and benefit return in order to receive or continue receiving the benefit and credit payments they may be eligible for.
We will be playing this video at the end of the webinar, so keep watching!
Slide 26 (Questions)
Nicole: I’d like to take another break to answer some questions.
Question 4: I don’t have income. Why do I still have to do my taxes?
Answer: The reason you need to do your taxes every year is simple. The CRA uses your family net income to calculate your benefit and credit payments. So to get your benefit and credit payments you have to do your taxes every year, even if you didn’t have income. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they will also have to do their taxes every year.
Question 5: Where do I get information on how much I made in the year to fill in my income tax return?
Answer: You should receive an information slip from your employer every year by the end of February. If you’re missing a slip, contact your employer. If that fails, you can get one from the CRA.
Question 6: If the CRA contacts me by phone, what kind of information will I be required to give in order to confirm my identity?
Answer: If the CRA calls you, they will validate your identity by asking for personal information, including your full name, date of birth, and your address. The CRA won’t ask for your driver’s license, health card, or information about your passport. But we will tell you all about scams in a few minutes, so stay tuned!
That’s it for now. I’ll continue with the next part of our webinar, which focuses on the underground economy and scams so that you know what to watch out for and can better protect yourself.
Slide 27 (Underground economy 1)
Nicole: The underground economy includes any activity not reported on an income tax and benefit return. It is sometimes called moonlighting, working for cash or working under the table, and can include not reported or under-reported income from:
- tips and gratuities
- money earned through the sharing economy such as renting out a room of your home and ride sharing
- gift cards received for work done
- cash payments for goods or services
- exchange of goods or services for other goods or services without using money
- gifts received from suppliers
Generally, income you earn is taxable and you have to report it on your tax return. This is true even when you don’t receive a T4 slip and when the activity is not your main source of income.
It is important to not only make sure you are paying your fair share in taxes, but also think carefully about who you do business with.
Slide 28 (Underground economy 2)
Nicole: In Canada, you have to keep track of all the money you make during the year and report it on your income tax and benefit return.
Your income may include cash payments you receive for goods or services, money you earn by renting out a room in your home, and tips or gratuities you earn.
If you don’t report all of your income and your return is selected for an audit, you may have to pay the income tax you didn’t pay, plus interest, and penalties.
Make sure you work for employers who protect you. If you accept a job with an employer who is paying you in cash to avoid paying taxes, he’s likely not paying insurance premiums to protect you if you get injured on the job. This puts you and your family at risk.
Always get a written contract or receipt when you buy goods or services.
If you don’t get a receipt to prove you purchased something, such as a new television, you’re not protected if something goes wrong and you want a refund. Instead, you’ll lose your money.
When you hire people to fix your home, get a contract – don’t pay cash with no paperwork. A contract will ensure you’re protected if the work isn’t done well or if the worker gets hurt.
Slide 29 (Don’t get scammed)
Nicole: There are many types of fraud or scams out there. Some of the most common include:
- aggressive phone calls that threaten arrest unless you pay an amount,
- demands that you pay taxes in gift cards or prepaid credit cards,
- emails or text messages that ask you to claim a tax rebate, or emails with links that ask you to provide personal or financial information.
These scammers may insist you give them your personal information so that you can get a refund or a benefit payment.
They can also use threatening language to scare you into paying a debt that you don’t owe to the CRA.
Some others ask you to visit a fake CRA website where you have to verify your identity by entering personal information.
These are scams and you should never respond to these messages or click on any links provided.
And keep in mind that the CRA will never use text messages to communicate with you.
Slide 30 (Report scams)
Nicole: If you think you may be a victim of fraud, contact your local police service.
You can report scams to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at the web address on your screen, or by calling 1-888-495-8501.
Slide 31 (My Account)
Nicole: The CRA has an online service called My Account. You will be able to access this service after you send your first tax return to the CRA and you receive a notice of assessment.
It’s an online service that is always available.
You can track your refund, view or change your return, check your benefit and credit payments, set up direct deposit, change your personal information, and so much more!
For more information or to sign up, go to the web address on your screen.
Slide 32 (Get your payments faster)
Nicole: Direct deposit gives you faster access to your money! It lets the CRA deposit your tax refund and your benefit and credit payments directly into your bank account instead of mailing you a cheque.
To sign up, you will need your social insurance number, the name of your bank or financial institution and your branch, transit, and account numbers.
Your account information is printed at the bottom of any cheque for the account you want us to use. If you don’t have a chequing account, ask your financial institution for this information.
You can sign up for direct deposit several ways.
By mail, you will have to fill out the Canada Direct Deposit Enrolment Form and mail it to the address on the form. Or by phone at 1-800-959-8281.
For more information or to get the form, go to the web address on your screen.
Slide 33 (Authorize a representative)
Nicole: Depending your situation, you may want another person to call the CRA on your behalf. This might be helpful if you find it hard to communicate in English or French, or for other reasons
This person can be a family member, a friend, or an accountant.
Taxpayer information is very confidential so make sure to choose someone you can trust.
Before you can do this, the CRA needs your permission.
You can give permission online in My Account, or on paper by filling out Form AUT-01, Authorize a Representative for Offline Access, and sending it to the CRA. This form will only be used to request offline access to individual and business tax accounts.
If someone’s only doing your taxes, you don't need to authorize a representative.
Slide 34 (Learn about taxes)
Nicole: Want to learn more about the Canadian tax system?
The CRA offers a free, online course called Learning About Taxes that teaches the basics of the Canadian tax system.
You can access this course at the web address on your screen.
Slide 35 (Here to help)
Nicole: Do you know an organization in your community who helps newcomers like you? The CRA can provide information and materials to ensure their clients are aware of the benefits and credits, and services that are available to help them.
They can get more information at the web address on your screen. Thank you for spreading the word!
Slide 36 (Covid-19 Measures)
Nicole: We will now discuss special increases to the Canada child benefit and the GST/HST credit. Then I will talk about the changes to the Employment Insurance program and the new recovery benefits that support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Slide 37 (COVID-19 One-time Payments)
Nicole: The Government of Canada is providing financial support to many individuals and their families during the pandemic. Some of this support may be available to you as well.
Individuals who received the CCB in April 2020, received $300 more per child in their May 2020 instalment. This was a one-time increase to the May 2020 CCB payment for the 2019-2020 benefit year.
You got the payment increase if:
- you had an eligible child in your care in May 2020
- you and your spouse/common-law partner (if applicable) have filed your 2018 tax return(s)
If you didn’t file your 2018 taxes or provide your 2018 income on Form RC66SCH, Status in Canada and Income Information for the Canada Child Benefits Application, you won’t receive this payment. If you're late in filing your 2018 taxes, you should file as soon as possible. You may be eligible for retroactive benefits and credits. The only way to get these benefits is by filing your return.
You didn’t have to file your 2019 taxes to receive the CCB payment increase, but you should file them so you continue to get your benefits and credits for the 2020-2021 benefit year.
Another measure introduced to help Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic was a special one-time GST/HST credit payment, which was issued on April 9, 2020. This amount was calculated based on your 2018 tax return and was a one-time additional payment.
If you have not filed your 2018 tax return, we encourage you to file as soon as possible. You won't receive this payment if you didn't file taxes for 2018.
If you were previously not entitled to the GST/HST credit, but have filed your 2018 tax return, you may also get the one-time credit amount based on your family net income.
The maximum amounts you can receive for the 2019-2020 benefit year, depending on your family net income and your status, could increase from:
- $443 to $886 if you’re single
- $580 to $1,160 if you’re married or living common-law
- $153 to $306 for each child under the age of 19 (excluding the first eligible child of a single parent)
- $290 to $580 for the first eligible child of a single parent
The current shared custody rules apply, meaning shared custody parents get half of the amount they would receive for a shared custody child.
Again, if you’re late filing your 2018 tax return, we encourage you to file as soon as possible. You may be eligible for retroactive benefits and credits. But remember, the only way to get them is to file.
It’s also important to note that if you receive the CCB or GST/HST credit, that these will not be applied to reduce individuals’ tax debt owing for the 2020 tax year. Individuals are strongly encouraged to file their tax returns by the filing deadline to ensure that their benefit payments continue without interruption.
Slide 38 (New COVID-19 Measures, Fall 2020)
Nicole: To help Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is administering three new benefits:
- the Canada Recovery Benefit,
- the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, and
- the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
I will provide an overview of who these benefits can support on the next few slides.
You can apply for these benefits online through My Account or by phone. For more information on how to apply, go to the web address on your screen.
If you sign up for direct deposit, you should receive your payment within 3-5 days. Otherwise, you will receive a cheque by mail within 10-12 business days.
If you travelled internationally the Government has announced proposed changes to the eligibility criteria that may deny you from claiming any of the recovery benefits if you must self-isolate and can’t work. The changes would apply to eligibility periods starting on or after January 3, 2021.
On February 9th 2021, the Government of Canada announced that it 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.
Slide 39 (Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
Nicole: The Canada Recovery Benefit, known as the CRB, gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance benefits.
If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 (before taxes are withheld) for a 2-week period.
If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
Determine if you’re eligible before applying by going to the web address on your screen and selecting Canada Recovery Benefit.
Slide 40 (Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
Nicole: The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, also called the CRSB, gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are 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.
If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 (before taxes are withheld) for a 1-week period.
If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
Slide 41 (Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
Nicole: The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, known as the CRCB, 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 are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19.
If you are eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 (before taxes are withheld) for each 1-week period.
If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
Slide 42 (Thank you)
Nicole: So, if your income is affected by the pandemic, please go online to canada.ca/cra-coronavirus to check out these three benefits.
That concludes the webinar on benefits and credits. Thank you for joining me today.
I’ll now play the video I mentioned earlier in the presentation. Remember to share this with others so that they can also benefit from it.
Thank you, and have a great day!
Many of the services and benefits we enjoy in Canada are made possible through taxes.
The taxes we pay also help put money into the pockets of students, lower-income families, newcomers, seniors, and people with disabilities, through benefit and credit payments.
Did you know that you might be eligible for benefit and credit payments even if you just arrived and have no income in Canada?
You might be eligible for:
- The Canada Child Benefit;
- The goods and services/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) Credit; and
- Other related provincial and territorial programs
The Canada Child Benefit is a tax-free monthly payment that helps families with the cost of raising children younger than 18 years old.
The goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low and modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.
The provinces and territories also have several benefits and credits that you may be eligible for. You don't need to apply separately for related provincial and territorial programs. The CRA will determine your eligibility when you apply for the Canada child benefit or with the information provided in your tax return.
Before you apply for these benefits and credits, you will need to get a social insurance number.
To continue getting your benefit and credit payments, you have to do your taxes every year, even if you did not have income during the year or you only lived in Canada for part of the year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to do their taxes every year to continue receiving your payments.
If you need help with your tax return, you can give permission to another person, like a family member, a friend, or an accountant, to deal with the CRA for you.
You might also be eligible to have your taxes done for free by volunteers at a tax clinic.
These are just some of the ways that the Canada Revenue Agency is helping people who are new to Canada. Go to canada.ca/new-to-canada or call 1-800-387-1193 to learn more.
And, learn how to protect yourself against scams. If you get a call, text or email that sounds like a scam, it probably is! When in doubt, call the Canada Revenue Agency. For more information, go to canada.ca/taxes-fraud-prevention.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: