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Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Impact on your taxes

Status: Closed

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How CESB is taxed

CESB payment amounts are taxable. You must report the CESB 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.

If your income is tax exempt

The CESB is not tax exempt under section 87 of the Indian Act.

For more details: Taxes and benefits for Indigenous peoples

What to do at tax time

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 you received from the CRA 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 CESB amount is shown in box 198 on your 2021 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 a paper return, 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.

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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