Collection of COVID-19 Overpayments

COVID-19 business support program overpayments

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) collects all COVID-19 business subsidy overpayments. This includes:

Paying your debt all at once, and in full, helps you avoid interest and other legal and financial consequences. Ignoring your debt does not make it go away. If you can not pay in full now, there are options for you.

Debt payment

Payment in full

To pay the full balance of your wage or rent subsidy debt, go to Payment methods

Partial payment

If your business can only make a partial payment, you must also make a payment arrangement to pay the balance of the debt. A payment arrangement lets your business make payments over time until the entire debt, including interest, is fully paid.

To make a partial payment, go to Payment methods. The CRA will apply the payment toward the oldest tax debt unless you request otherwise. The debt will gain interest until you pay the full balance

Payment arrangement

A payment arrangement is an agreement between you and the CRA to pay your debt over a certain period. The CRA will consider a payment arrangement when you have shown that you have tried to pay your debt in full by either reducing your expenses or borrowing funds. After reviewing your financial details, the CRA will work with you to determine the amount and length of the payment arrangement.

You may also be able to schedule a series of payments using the My Business Account (MyBA) secure portal. To see if you can use this option to pay your debt, go to How to schedule a series of payments.

To make a payment arrangement:

Your business must pay as agreed, continue to file all returns on time, and stay up to date with tax obligations. Payment arrangements may be subject to periodic reviews.

Even if you have a payment arrangement and are making payments, benefits and other credit payments you receive can be used to pay your debt.

If your situation changes and your business cannot continue with the payment arrangement, you must contact the CRA. If you do not, the CRA may proceed with legal actions to collect the balance of debt. Go to Consequences of not paying for more information.

If you are unable to make a payment or payment arrangement, go to Unable to pay.

If you cannot reach the CRA

Wait times could be longer than usual due to the high level of calls. Follow the instructions in Payment methods to send a payment. If you are not sending payment in full, a CRA representative may contact you afterwards to discuss further.

Payment methods 

There are many ways to repay a wage or rent subsidy debt and it may differ from other programs.

My Payment

You can Pay now with My Payment. Follow the steps below to complete your payment.

  • Wage subsidies
    1. Select Pay now from the home page
    2. Choose Payroll source deductions
    3. Choose Wage subsidies and hiring program repayment
    4. Enter the Account Number, the Amount of the payment, and select Next
    5. Review transaction details and select Confirm and proceed to pay
    6. Choose your Payment Method and select Pay Now
    7. Follow the instructions to complete the transaction
  • Rent subsidies
    1. Select Pay now from the home page
    2. Select Rent Subsidy repayment
    3. Enter the Account Number and Amount of the payment and press Next
    4. Review transaction details and press Confirm and proceed to pay
    5. Choose your Payment Method and select Pay Now
    6. Follow the instructions to complete the transaction

Note: Only Visa Debit, Debit MasterCard, and Interac Online cards are accepted. Credit cards are not accepted.

My Business Account (MyBA)

The My Business Account (MyBA) secure portal has different payment options available. Follow the steps below to complete your payment.

  • Pay Now
    1. Select Proceed to pay
    2. Choose the Account and select Next
    3. Choose How you want to pay and select Next
    4. Choose your method of payment and select Pay

    Note: Only Visa Debit, Debit MasterCard, and Interac Online cards are accepted.
    Credit cards are not accepted.

  • Pay later
    1. Select Proceed to pay
    2. Choose the Account and select Next
    3. Choose Schedule a single payment from a Canadian chequing account in 5 or more business days and select Next
    4. Enter the following information and select Next:
      • Amount per payment
      • First payment date
      • Banking information (use existing or enter new)
    5. Review transaction details, choose the Authorization, then select Confirm
  • Schedule a series of payments (CEWS)
    1. Select Proceed to pay
    2. Choose the Account and select Next
    3. Choose Schedule a series of payments from a Canadian chequing account in 5 or more business days and select Next
    4. Enter the following information and select Calculate:
      • Amount to be paid
      • First payment date
      • How often
      • Number of payments
      • Interest options
    5. Review the calculation results, and select Next
    6. Enter the banking information (use existing or enter new), and select Next
    7. Review the payment details, choose the Authorization, and select Confirm

 

Note: Pay later and Schedule a series of payments allows MyBA users to make one or more payment(s) using pre-authorized debit from a Canadian chequing account starting in 5 or more business days from the date the agreement is confirmed.

Online banking

You must:

  • Wage subsidies
    1. Sign in to the financial institution’s online banking service with your business bank account
    2. Add the payee Federal – Emergency wage subsidies and recovery hiring program repayment
    3. Enter the 15-digit payroll account number (RP)
    4. Follow the prompts to complete the online banking transaction
  • Rent subsidies
    1. Sign in to the financial institution’s online banking service with your business bank account.
    2. Add the payee Federal – Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy repayment.
    3. Enter the 15-digit account number (ZA).
    4. Follow the prompts to complete the online banking transaction.

Make a payment by mail using cheque or money order

Make your cheque or money order payable to the Receiver General for Canada, and include a remittance voucher, or the following information with your payment:  

  • repayment of wage or rent subsidies
  • business number
  • account name
  • address of the applicant

Send your cheque or money order to:

Canada Revenue Agency
Revenue Processing-Repayment of wage subsidy or rent subsidy
Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON  P3A 0C3

Return the original subsidy cheque by mail

Be sure to include the following information with the returned cheque: 

  • the reason for the return: Repayment of wage subsidy - not entitled or Repayment of rent subsidy – not entitled
  • business number
  • account name
  • address of the applicant

Return the original cheque to:

Imaging and Receiver General Operations Directorate
Returned Cheques
P.O. Box 2000
Matane QC
G4W 4N5

Return a payment made through direct deposit

You must request the return of direct deposit payments through your financial institution:

  • ask the financial institution to return the direct deposit made for the wage or rent subsidy
  • inform the financial institution of the exact amount and deposit date

Note: The payment will be returned to CRA. No other action is required by the applicant.

Unable to pay 

If your business cannot meet its tax obligations, contact the CRA.

If you do not call or make a payment arrangement, the CRA may take legal action to collect the balance. Go to Consequences of not paying for more information.

Taxpayer relief provisions

In some circumstances, you may ask for relief from penalties and interest, and reduce the amount your business owes. Go to Taxpayer relief provisions for more information.

Insolvency or bankruptcy

If you feel your business is insolvent or are considering corporate bankruptcy, visit the Office of the superintendent of bankruptcy.

Consequences of not paying

If your business does not pay their debt or refuses to cooperate, the CRA may take legal action which could result in serious financial or legal consequences.

Before starting legal action, the CRA must do the following:

  • make 3 attempts to give verbal legal warning by phone
  • send 1 written legal warning letter

If the CRA determines there is a risk of not collecting all or part of the assessed subsidy debt while under collection restrictions, it can apply to the Federal Court or the superior court of a province for a jeopardy order. This allows the CRA to secure any assets that you own and to take immediate action to collect the debt.

Set-offs can be issued as soon as a notice of determination/assessment has been sent.

For more information, go to Legal warning about collection of debt.

Once the CRA has started any of the following legal actions, the CRA will not usually withdraw them.

To avoid legal action, go to Debt payment or Unable to pay.

Garnishing income or other sources

Requirement to pay (redirecting money owed to you by a third party)

The CRA can issue a Requirement to pay (RTP) to a third party that owes your business money or is holding funds for the business. A third party can be an individual, a bank or other sources of funds such as the company’s accounts receivable. The RTP instructs the third party to redirect the funds to the CRA. Redirected funds received by the CRA are applied to the corporate tax debt. For more information, go to Understanding a requirement to pay.

Set-off (redirecting money owed to your business by the federal government)

If your business is owed money by any federal government department or agency, the CRA can issue a set-off to redirect the funds, and apply these amounts to your business’s tax debt.

The CRA can use any GST/HST credits or any future income tax refunds owing to the business, to reduce the business’s debt.

Set-offs can be done even if your business has a payment arrangement and is making payments. 

Asset liens and seizures

The CRA can get a certificate confirming the amount your business owes. This will make the debt a matter of public record and allow the CRA to proceed with asset liens and seizures. The CRA will usually notify you by mail that the debt has been certified in Federal Court. The letter advises that if you do not resolve the account, the CRA may take further legal action to pay the debt.

In some instances, such as in the case of debts that are at risk of not being collected (in jeopardy), the CRA may advise verbally that the debt has been certified in Federal Court.

Registering a lien on assets

Once the debt is certified, the CRA can register a lien against the business's assets and property. Registering a lien will secure the amount of debt owing, by establishing creditor priority in the event of a sale. This means, if the business sells an asset, the tax debt is automatically paid from the proceeds of the sale, before it receives any remaining proceeds.

Seizing and selling your assets

If the business's debt remains outstanding, the CRA may get a writ or memorial to seize and sell its assets and property, including inventory.

If the CRA sells the business's assets, the CRA will use the proceeds to pay:

  • the tax debt
  • any costs charged by the bailiff hired to sell the assets on behalf of the CRA

You will still have to pay any remaining tax debt.

Third party assessment

A third party assessment allows the CRA to hold a third party legally responsible to pay another’s tax debt. The third party can be a financial institution, business partner, director, individual or another corporation.

Below are some examples of third party assessments.

Non-arm’s length (related) transfer assessment

If you have a debt with the CRA, then transfer property to an individual or corporation that is non-arm's length , there could be consequences.

If the property was transferred at less than fair market value, the CRA can issue an assessment against the recipient of the property. The assessment will be for the difference between the fair market value of the property and what the recipient paid for it. The assessment will only include debt that was incurred as of the date of the transfer and preceding years.

For more information, see Income Tax Folio S1-F5-C1, Related Persons and Dealing at Arm's Length.

Non-compliance of a requirement to pay (RTP)

If you receive an RTP from the CRA, you are legally obligated to comply with it. If you fail to comply, you will become liable for the amount you did not pay and the CRA will take legal action to collect that amount from you.

As a recipient of an RTP, you become liable if you:

  • do not pay the CRA when you owe money to a taxpayer
  • continue to pay the taxpayer amounts you are legally required to pay to the CRA
  • pay someone else on behalf of the taxpayer, such as a relative or another creditor, instead of the CRA
  • loan or advance money to the taxpayer within 90 days, as specified in the terms of the RTP
Contact the CRA

Make a payment arrangement for Covid-19 benefit overpayments from CRA

  • Call within Canada and the United States.
    Call within Canada and the U.S.
    Telephone number: Hours:
    1-833-615-2087

    Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm (ET)

    Closed on public holidays

    Other call options:

    Teletypewriter (TTY) and alternative formats
    Teletypewriter (TTY) and alternative formats
    Telephone number: Hours:
    1-800-615-2088

    Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm (local time)

    Closed on public holidays

    You can also request alternate formats and services for persons with disabilities.

  • Call from outside Canada and the United States.

    The CRA accepts collect calls by automated response. Contact your service provider or operator to initiate the collect call.

    Call from outside Canada and the United States
    Telephone number: Hours:
    613-221-3152

    Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm (ET)

    Closed on public holidays

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