Women in shelters: Get your payments when you need them the most

Transcript

Slide 1

Hi! My name is Chelsea. I'm with the Canada Revenue Agency, or CRA for short. I'm very happy to be here today to talk to you about benefit and credit payments you could be eligible for, and how to apply for them.

Let's get started!

Slide 2

Did you know that you may be eligible for some of the credits and benefits that the CRA administers, including the Canada child benefit and others such as:

You may also be eligible for related provincial or territorial payments.

Later in the webinar, we will also be discussing several COVID-related benefits that may be available to you.

Slide 3

Some of the words you will hear me use deal with marital status. Before we get into the details of this presentation let's take a look at the more common ones.

Married means you have a spouse. "Spouse" applies only to a person to whom you are legally married.

Living common-law means you are living with a person who is not your spouse, but with whom you have a conjugal relationship and to whom at least one of the following situations applies:

Separated – you have been living apart from your spouse or common-law partner because of a breakdown in the relationship for a period of at least 90 days and you have not reconciled. Once you have been separated for 90 days, the effective day of your separated status is the date you started living apart.

Divorced – you were married and are now legally divorced.

Widowed – your spouse or common-law partner is deceased.

Single – you are single and none of the above apply.

Did you know...

You are still considered to have a spouse or common-law partner if you were separated involuntarily (not because of a breakdown in your relationship). An involuntary separation could happen when one spouse or common-law partner is living away for work, school, or health reasons or is incarcerated.

Let's take a look at the Canada child benefit.

Slide 4

The Canada child benefit, or CCB for short, is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible parents or caregivers to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. Depending on your family net income, you can get up to $6,765 per child under the age of 6, and up to $5,708 per child aged 6 through 17, each year.

Applying for the CCB will also register your child for any related provincial or territorial payments.

The CRA recalculates benefit payments every July based on information from each parent's tax return from the year before. This is why it is important for both parents to do their taxes on time every year. If they don't, then their CCB payments could be interrupted.

If you fled an abusive situation, it is sometimes difficult to provide the CRA with the required documents. We would never ask you to contact an abusive spouse or common-law partner. If this is the case, then you, as the parent primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of your child, should contact the CRA to discuss your situation.

For those of you who were unsure, if you're eligible but never applied for the CCB, you can apply now to receive payments from up to 10 years ago. Applying could pay off!

In a few minutes, I will explain the different ways to apply. You will also have to provide supporting documents and do your taxes for the years you are applying for, if you haven't already done them.

Slide 5

To be eligible for the Canada child benefit, you must meet all of the following conditions:

In addition, you or your spouse or common-law partner must be one of the following:

You are primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child if you:

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 could receive the children's special allowance.

Slide 6

You should apply for the CCB as soon as possible after your child is born, a child starts to live with you, or when you, your spouse or common-law partner become eligible to receive the CCB.

You should apply even if you share custody of a child or a child is living with you for a temporary period of time.

Slide 7

There are three ways to apply for the CCB.

One way to apply is at the time of your child's birth. When you are filling out your child's provincial or Northwest Territories birth registration form, you can give permission to share your child's information with the CRA. By giving your permission, you will automatically apply for the CCB. Unfortunately, this service is not yet available in the Yukon and Nunavut.

If the child you're applying for is over one year old, you'll need to apply either online using the CRA's secure portal, called My Account, or on paper with Form RC66.

To use My Account, log in and then click on "Apply for child benefits" in the "Benefits and credits" box. You'll need to fill in your information and the child's information to apply. You can even use the My Account portal to check the status of your application.

To apply on paper, fill out Form RC66, titled Canada Child Benefits Application, and mail it to the CRA. You can get this form on Canada.ca

You should choose only one of these ways to apply. Re-applying in a different way may result in 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 new child and any children you may have later.

Slide 8

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:

If you didn't file your 2018 taxes, 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.

Slide 9

Let's take a look at an example.

This is Olivia and her two-year-old son. Olivia didn't know about the CCB so she never applied. Luckily, it isn't too late. All she has to do is to go to the address on the screen, click on Canada child benefit and follow the instructions.

Keep in mind: The CRA may ask you to send documents to support your application but they will never ask you to contact an abusive partner.

Slide 10

Now let's take a bit of a break from the presentation to answer some frequently asked questions.

Q1: Where do I get information on how much I made in the year to fill in my income tax return?

A1: You should receive an information slip (usually a T4 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.

Q2: When can I advise the CRA of my new marital status? I left my husband last month and have no intention of returning.

A2: In order for the CRA to consider you as separated, you have to have been separated for at least 90 consecutive days because of a breakdown in the relationship. Once your 90 days have passed, you can advise the CRA of your new status. We will recalculate your benefits based on your new marital status and adjusted family net income starting the month after your marital status changed.

Slide 11

I'll now move on to the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, more commonly known as the GST/HST credit.

For those of you unaware or unsure, the GST/HST credit is a tax-free payment that helps individuals and families with modest income offset some of the GST or HST that they pay.

You don't have to apply to get it. All you have to do is do your taxes each year. Depending on your family net income, you could get up to $592 if you are married or common-law, $451 if you are single and $155 for each child under the age of 19 that is living with you.

Don't forget: if you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to do their taxes so that the CRA can calculate your household payments.

You may also get related provincial or territorial payments depending on your province or territory of residence.

Only one person in the marriage or common-law relationship can receive the credit. No matter which person receives it, the amount will be the same.

Slide 12

You may be eligible for this credit if you are a resident of Canada and at least one of the following applies:

Slide 13

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 could receive this additional payment when you file.

If you were not previously 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:

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. 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 14

If you're 19 or older, working and earning a modest income, you could be eligible for the Canada workers benefit, or CWB for short.

If you are eligible for the CWB, you can claim a refundable tax credit of up to $2,379 on your return.

You are eligible for the CWB if you are 19 years of age or older on December 31 and you are a resident of Canada for income tax purposes throughout the year. However, if you are under 19 years of age, you may still be eligible for the CWB if you have a spouse, a common-law partner or an eligible dependant on December 31.

You cannot claim the CWB if any of the following apply:

To calculate the CWB, you need to fill out Schedule 6, found in the tax package for your province or territory.

If you are eligible for the CWB and the disability tax credit (which we will discuss next), you may also be eligible for an annual disability supplement.

You can also apply for CWB advance payments.

Advanced payments are a maximum of 50% of the CWB you expect to claim on your tax return.

To apply for advance payments, you will need to fill out Form RC201, Canada Workers Benefit Advance Payments Application, and mail it to the Sudbury Tax Centre. The completed form can be mailed after January 1 and must be received at the Tax Centre no later than August 31. Any part of the CWB that you do not receive as advance payments will be paid after the CRA assesses your return.

Note: The CRA will not process applications for advance payments received September 1 or later. After that date passes, you have to wait until January of the next year.

Slide 15

The disability tax credit, or DTC for short, is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay.

You could get up to $8,576 as a non-refundable tax credit, and you might be able to claim up to 10 previous years of disability amounts.

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 have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 months and it must be present all or substantially all of the time, which means at least 90% of the time.

Being eligible for the DTC could open the door to other federal, provincial or territorial programs, like the Canada workers benefit disability supplement, the registered disability savings plan and the child disability benefit.

To determine if you may be eligible for the DTC you can go online and take our self-assessment quiz.

Slide 16

To apply, you will need to get Form T2201, called the Disability Tax Credit Certificate, from the CRA website or by calling the CRA.

First, fill out Part A with your personal information and sign the form. Then, bring the form to your medical practitioner so they can fill out Part B of the form, describing the effects of your impairment on your basic activities of daily living.

After the form is filled out and certified by your medical practitioner, send it to the CRA by mail or electronically using Submit Documents in the CRA's My Account online service.

Medical doctors and nurse practitioners can certify all sections in Part B of your T2201 form. For a list of medical practitioners who can only certify certain sections, visit the DTC website shown at the bottom of your screen.

It's very important to know that the eligibility for this credit is based on the information provided by the medical practitioner. Eligibility for the DTC is based on the effects of the impairment on your basic activities of daily living, not the medical condition itself.

If you were eligible for the disability tax credit for previous years, but did not claim the disability amount, you can request adjustments to your tax returns for up to 10 years. If the CRA determines that you are not eligible and you have more information from a medical practitioner that the CRA did not have in the first review of your application, send the information to the CRA. The CRA will review your file again using the new information.

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.

Slide 17

The child disability benefit is a tax-free payment made to families who care for a child under age 18 who is eligible for the disability tax credit. You could get up to $2,886 per year for each child who is eligible for the disability tax credit.

A child is eligible for the disability tax credit when the CRA approves the Form T2201, which we just discussed.

The child disability benefit is paid monthly to the person who receives the Canada child benefit for that child.

Slide 18

To get an estimate of the benefit and credit payments you may be eligible for, you can go to the benefits calculator at the address on the screen.

Slide 19

To help Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is administering three new benefits:

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 Revenue Agency will automatically apply the interest relief measure for individuals who meet these criteria.

Slide 20

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're 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 21

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're 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 22

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 23

Many of the benefits and credits we have discussed are calculated based on your income.

It's important do your taxes on time, even if you did not earn any income in the year, so that the CRA can calculate your payments such as the GST/HST credit.

The deadline to do your taxes is generally on April 30 of each year. By doing your taxes on time, the CRA and other government departments will be able to calculate your payments and send them to you without delays.

As I just mentioned, other government departments may also use the information from your tax return to calculate your payments. For example, the CRA shares your information with Service Canada so they can calculate your old age security benefits or guaranteed income supplement. So to make sure there are no interruptions of your payments, you must file your taxes before the deadline this coming tax season.

Slide 24

So far in this presentation you've heard about the benefits and credits you may be eligible for. Although they are all different, they all have one thing in common- you must do your taxes to receive and continue receiving them.

We know that doing your taxes might seem a bit overwhelming but we can help.

The CRA, through its' Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (known as the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program in Quebec), works with community organizations and their volunteers to help eligible individuals file their taxes for free. This ensures individuals get the benefit and credit payments they are entitled to.

Slide 25

You are eligible for this service if you have a modest income and a simple tax situation.

Generally, a modest income is less than $35,000, and a tax situation is simple if you don't have a small business or income from a rental property.

Please note that this year, many clinics will be offered virtually – online or by phone – in order to follow health guidance with respect to the pandemic.

To find out if you are eligible for this service and to find a free tax clinic nearby, go to the address shown on the screen.

Slide 26

Now let's see another example:

Kim used to get benefits and credits payments for herself and her two children. Her payments were stopped because she forgot to do her taxes. The CRA needs her information to calculate her payments.

How did she start getting her payments again? She did her taxes, which provided the CRA with her tax information. She also gave the CRA her new address at the shelter and her new direct deposit information, and she updated her marital status.

Keep in mind: Your personal information with the CRA is confidential and will never be shared without your consent.

Slide 27

Here are some more frequently asked questions that we'd like to share with you.

Q3. You said that a supporting family member can claim the disability tax credit. What is a supporting family member? Do they have to live with the disabled person?

A3. A supporting family member is someone, other than the spouse or common-law partner, who provides the person with the disability with one or more of the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, or clothing, on a regular and consistent basis. The supporting family member does not have to live with the person with a disability.

Q4: I don't have a taxable income. Do I still have to do my taxes?

A4: To get your benefit and credit payments you will have to do your taxes every year, even if you did not have income in the year or if your income is tax exempt. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they will also have to do their taxes every year.

The reason you need to do your taxes every year is simple, the CRA uses your family net income to calculate your benefit payments.

And now I'll continue with the next part of our webinar.

Slide 28

Once you have done your taxes for the first time or had them done for you, and you have received your notice of assessment, you can sign up for the CRA's online service called My Account.

With My Account you can:

It's an online service that is available at all times. For more information or to sign up, go to the address shown on the screen.

Slide 29

You might be one of the Canadians that has an uncashed cheque from the CRA. There are many reasons this could happen. For example, you may have moved and not updated your address, or the cheque may have been lost, stolen, or destroyed.

You can now view your uncashed cheques and, if necessary, ask for a duplicate payment in My Account by selecting "Uncashed Cheques" under "Related Services".

CRA cheques never expire. And, you can cash your CRA cheque for free at any financial institution in Canada.

While it might be a nice surprise for you now, it important to us that you never miss another payment.

To avoid missing future cheques:

Slide 30

In order to ensure that you keep receiving the benefits and credits you are entitled to, you must do your taxes every year and you must keep your personal information such as address, marital status and direct deposit information, up to date with the CRA.

If you don't update your address you could miss notices or letters from the CRA, and this could lead to a stop in your payments. If you don't update your banking information, your direct deposit payments could be going to the wrong person. A change in marital status could very likely affect the benefits and credits payments.

You can update this information by phone, online at My Account or by completing and mailing in these forms which can all be found on canada.ca:

Please note that you can use the address of a shelter as your address.

Slide 31

After you apply for benefits, the CRA may ask you for documents as part of the validation process. If you're unable to get them, you can send any of the following documents and the review will end:

Slide 32

You might need to provide proof of income to a bank or a landlord. You can get your proof of income statement online or by mail.

Online: login to My Account and click on "Proof of income statement."

By mail: call the CRA at 1-800-267-6999 and the CRA will mail it to you. When you call, you will have to give your social insurance number, date of birth, and the total income you entered on line 150 of your 2018 tax return, or 15000 of your 2019 tax return.

Slide 33

The CRA offers many digital services that may be of use to you.

As I mentioned, My Account allows you to view your personal income tax and benefit information, and manage your tax affairs online. You can also use it to register to receive online mail and account alerts through email notifications, authorize your representative, or formally dispute your assessment or determination, and many other services.

On your mobile device? Try the MyCRA mobile web app where you can securely access key parts of your tax information and manage personal details, wherever you are.

MyBenefits CRA is a mobile web app that lets you quickly view your benefit and credit payment details and eligibility information

Slide 34

There are many fraud types, including new ones invented daily.

Taxpayers should be vigilant when they receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number.

Some of the most common scams include aggressive phone calls that threaten arrest unless you pay an amount, demands that you pay taxes in gift cards, prepaid credit cards or bitcoins, emails or text messages with a link to your refund, or emails with links that ask you to provide personal or financial information.

These scams may insist that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Other communications urge taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where the taxpayer is then asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. These are scams and taxpayers should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided.

To identify legitimate communications from the CRA, be aware of these guidelines and know what to expect when the CRA contacts you.

Slide 35

Important: The CRA does contact taxpayers by phone, email and mail for legitimate reasons. If you're not sure if it's really the CRA, here are some tips to keep in mind to identify legitimate communications from the CRA.

The CRA won't use aggressive or threatening language, ask for payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards such as iTunes or Amazon, ask for information about your passport, driver's licence or health card, leave personal information on your voicemail, or share your tax information with another person.

The CRA may

Some of the reasons the CRA may call:

They wrote to you previously or any of the following situations apply:

Before giving money or personal information over the phone, verify the caller's authenticity. You can note the caller's name, phone number, and office location and tell them that you want to first verify their identity. You can then check that the employee calling about your taxes works for the CRA or that the CRA did contact you by calling 1-800-959-8281 for individuals or 1-800-959-5525 for businesses. If the call you received was about a government program such as Student Loans or Employment Insurance, call 1-866-864-5823.

Slide 36

The CRA may

Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) won't send or request e-transfers of any kind. The CRA will only send you payments by direct deposit or by cheque in the mail. If you receive a e-Transfer claiming to be from the CRA, it's a scam!

Slide 37

The CRA won't

The CRA may:

Slide 38

The Government of Canada won't send texts or instant messages asking you:

However, it's important to note that if you request information from the CRA, we may send you this information by text message or email with links to web resources. This could happen if you call the CRA and ask for info.

It wouldn't be without your knowledge and you will never be asked to provide personal information by text, or instant message like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Slide 39

When in doubt, ask yourself:

You can report a scam to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at the web address on your screen, or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud, contact your local police service.

Slide 40

Confirm your tax status through one of the CRA's secure portals, My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client, or through the MyCRA and MyBenefits CRA mobile web apps.

You can also call the CRA's Individual Tax Account Balance Automated Service at 1-866-474-8272. This automated phone service provides information about your tax account balance, as well as your last payment amount and date. To use this service, be ready to give your social insurance number, date of birth and the total income you entered on line 150 of your 2017 or 2016 tax return.

Call 1-866-864-5823 to update your address or contact information for government programs that you owe money to, such as student loans or employment insurance.

Register for My Account at canada.ca/my-cra-account and you'll be able to tell right away if you have a balance owing or if the CRA owes you money.

You can sign up to receive email notifications from CRA by logging into your CRA My Account or MyCRA from your mobile device and providing your email address. Then, when there is a change to your direct deposit information, to your authorized representative, when your mail has been returned to the CRA, or your home or mailing address has been changed, we will send you an email alert to let you know.

Slide 41

If there's one thing you take from today, it's essential that you do your taxes on time, every year and keep your personal information such as address, marital status and direct deposit information, up to date with the CRA.

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, and have a great day!

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