Collection of individual COVID-19 benefits issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) collects all overpayments of individual COVID-19 benefits issued by the CRA. These include:
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with the CRA
- Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
- Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB)
Paying your debt all at once, and in full, helps you avoid legal and financial consequences. Ignoring your debt does not make it go away. If you can not pay in full now, no interest or penalty will be applied on your COVID-19 benefits overpayment debt. We can work with you to establish a payment arrangement.
If you have any questions about why you have a COVID-19 benefit debt or if you have received a Notice of Redetermination and never applied for the benefit or suspect fraudulent activity or identify theft, please call General Inquiries.
If you received COVID-19 benefits from CRA that you were not entitled to, we will send you a notice of redetermination.
Starting in 2022, if you have a balance owing, the CRA may keep all or a portion of any future payments, tax refunds or GST/HST credits until the amount is repaid.
Payment in full
Payment in full is due by the date indicated on your notice of redetermination.
To pay the full balance of your debt, go to Payment methods
If you cannot pay in full, the CRA has expanded payment arrangement options to provide more flexibility, based on your ability to pay. This allows you to make payments over time until your debt is paid in full.
A payment arrangement is an agreement between you and the CRA to pay your debt over a period of time. The CRA will work with you to determine the payment amount and the length of the payment arrangement.
The Income and expense worksheet is an optional budget tool to help you determine what you can afford to pay on a regular basis. A conversation with a CRA representative is still required to make a payment arrangement.
To make a payment arrangement:
You must pay as agreed, continue to file all returns on time, and stay up to date with your tax obligations. Payment arrangements are subject to periodic reviews.
Even if you have a payment arrangement and are making payments, the CRA is authorized to take amounts from any credits you may otherwise receive in order to pay your debt.
If your situation changes and you cannot continue with your payment arrangement, you must contact the CRA. If you do not, the CRA may proceed with legal actions to collect the balance of your 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 the repayment of your debt.
The easiest way to pay is through My Account for Individuals.
You can also use the online services of your Canadian financial institution:
- Search for the Canada Revenue Agency as a payee
- Select Canada Emergency Benefit Repayment or something similar as payee names may differ based on the financial institution
- Enter your Social insurance number (SIN) as the account number
Pay now with My Payment
Pay with pre-authorized debit (PAD) services
- Go to the website My Account for Individuals
- Visit your financial institution to set up PAD arrangements using the remittance voucher you received in the mail
- Make your cheque or money order payable to “Receiver General for Canada.”
- Write your Social insurance number (SIN) and “repayment of CEB/CRB” on the back of your cheque or money order
- Mail your payment to:
Revenue Processing – Repayment of emergency and recovery benefits
Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON P3A 0C3
Do not send cash by mail.
At your financial institution with your remittance voucher
Unable to pay
If you cannot pay in full, or make monthly payments on your outstanding balance, contact the CRA.
If you do not call or make a payment arrangement, the CRA may take legal action to collect your debt. Go to Consequences of not paying for more information.
Insolvency or bankruptcy
If you are insolvent or under bankruptcy, contact your trustee about your overpayments of individual COVID-19 benefits or visit the Office of the superintendent of bankruptcy for more information.
Consequences of not paying
If you do not pay your debt or refuse to cooperate, the CRA may take legal action which could result in serious financial or legal consequences for you.
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
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.
Garnishing wages or other sources
Requirement to pay (redirect money owed to you by a third party)
The CRA can issue a Requirement to pay (RTP) to take funds that a third party owes you or holds for you. A third party could include a person or organization such as your employer or your bank.
The RTP is typically sent at 30% of your take home pay and 100% of funds held in your financial institution. The CRA will apply the funds to your debt.
Set-off (redirecting money owed to you by the federal government)
The CRA can use your federal income, goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credits or any future income tax refunds to reduce your debt.
Set-offs can be done even if you have a payment arrangement and are making payments.
Asset liens and seizures
The CRA can get a provincial judgement or a certificate from the Federal Court confirming the amount you owe. This will make your 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 your debt has been certified in Federal Court. The letter advises you that if you do not resolve your account, the CRA may take further legal action to pay the debt.
Registering a lien on assets
Once the debt is certified, the CRA can register a lien against your assets and property, including your personal residence. Registering a lien will secure the amount of debt owing, by establishing creditor priority in the event of a sale. This means, if you sell your asset, your CRA debt is automatically paid from the proceeds of the sale, before you receive any remaining proceeds.
Seizing and selling your assets
If your debt remains outstanding, the CRA may get a writ or memorial to seize and sell your assets and property. This could include your car, boat, artwork, cottage, rental property, or personal residence.
If the CRA sells your assets, the CRA will use the proceeds to pay:
- your CRA 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 debt
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: 1-833-253-7615
Monday to Friday 7 am to 8 pm (ET)
Closed on public holidays
Other call options:
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: 613-221-3002
Monday to Friday 7 am to 8 pm (ET)
Closed on public holidays
For questions about why you have an overpayment debt, please contact our General Inquiries.
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