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Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA

Impact on your taxes

Status: Closed

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How CERB is taxed

CERB payment amounts are taxable. You must report the CERB amounts you received as income when you file your personal income tax return. How much tax you must pay will depend on how much income you earned.

What to do at tax time

CERB with CRA

The CRA will provide you with a T4A tax information slip at tax time for the COVID-19 benefit amounts you received from the CRA in 2021. Your T4A slip will also be available in CRA My Account.

Verify your tax slips

All COVID-19 benefits that you received from the CRA in 2021 will be on one T4A slip. Quebec residents will get both a T4A slip and a RL-1 slip.

If you received more than one benefit or made repayments, make sure the amounts are correct before you report them in your tax return.

For details: Verify COVID-19 amounts on your T4A

Report your T4A amounts on your tax return

Your CERB amount is shown in box 197 on your T4A slip.

Find T4A COVID-19 benefit box numbers
COVID-19 income sources
Box Description Tags

If you received more than one COVID-19 benefit, add up each benefit payment amount you received from your T4A slip.

Enter the total amount on line 13000 of your tax return. If you are filing by paper, specify the type of income you’re reporting. Attach a list if you received more than one benefit.

Benefit repayments on your T4A

If you received a COVID-19 benefit from CRA in 2020, any repayments you made in 2021 will display in box 201 on your 2021 T4A slip.

Box 201 – Repayments of benefits in 2021
COVID-19 income sources
Box Description Tags

If you have box 201 on your 2021 T4A slip, find options to claim a deduction.

CERB with Service Canada

If you received the CERB from Service Canada, you will receive a T4E slip at tax time or you may also get your T4E information from My Service Canada Account.

Verify your tax slips

All CERB benefit amounts from Service Canada, or any Employment Insurance (EI) benefit payments that you received in 2021, will be shown on a T4E slip. Quebec residents will get both a T4E and a T4E(Q) slip.

For details: Verify CERB amount on your T4E

Report your T4E amounts on your tax return

CERB benefit payment amounts received from Service Canada are included in box 14 of your T4E slip.

The total amount in box 14 includes your CERB amounts along with other employment insurance benefits.

Steps for reporting T4E amounts on your tax return

  1. Find your total benefits paid amount in box 14 of your T4E slip
  2. If you are not eligible to receive tax exempt benefits under the Indian Act, take the amount in box 14 and subtract any amount from box 18 (under "Other information" on your T4E slip)
  3. Enter the amount on line 11900 on your return

If your income is tax exempt

If your income is eligible for tax exemption under section 87 of the Indian Act, your CERB payments may be tax exempt. Your CERB payments will be taxed (or not) in the same way as the income that entitled you to the benefit.

  • If all your income was tax exempt during the time you earned the $5,000 income requirement (in 2019 or in the last 12 months before you applied for the CERB), then the benefit is also tax exempt.
  • If your income during that time was not fully tax exempt, you may have some tax to pay.

If you are not sure if your income is tax exempt, or need more details:
Taxes and benefits for Indigenous peoples

Penalties and interest

File your tax return before the due date to avoid late-filing penalties and any disruption in receiving your other benefits and credits.

The late-filing penalty is 5% of your 2021 balance owing. For each additional month you are late in filing your tax return, an extra 1% is added (up to a maximum of 12 months).

Interest relief on 2020 taxes until April 30, 2022

The CRA automatically applied interest relief on your 2020 taxes owing if you had a taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020, and received at least one COVID-19 benefit.

You must have filed your 2020 tax return to get this interest relief until April 30, 2022.

Late-filing penalty charges on 2020 taxes still apply since they are not part of this interest relief.

For details: Eligibility criteria for interest relief

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