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Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

Impact on your taxes

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How CRB is taxed

After the CRA withholds a 10% tax at source, the actual payment you get is $900 or $540 for a 2-week period, depending on your situation. Your CRB amount may change for period 22 and later periods.

How we calculate your payment

Original amount

  • $1,000 (CRB gross amount)
  • minus   $100 (10% tax withheld at source)
  • equals $900 (amount you receive per period)

Reduced amount

  • $600 (CRB gross amount)
  • minus   $60 (10% tax withheld at source)
  • equals $540 (amount you receive per period)

Expect an adjustment at tax time

The 10% tax may not be all the tax you need to pay. You may need to pay more (or less) depending on your personal tax situation.

What to do at tax time

If you earn over $38,000

If you earn more than $38,000 net income in the calendar year, you will need to reimburse some or all of the benefit at tax time.

You will have to reimburse $0.50 of the CRB for every dollar of net income you earned above $38,000 on your income tax return. You will not have to reimburse more than you received that year.

Net income includes

Net income includes all amounts that are normally considered part of net income for income tax purposes. This includes line 23600 of your tax return (excluding the CRB amounts) with some adjustments for split income and certain repaid amounts. Net income includes any CERB, CRCB and CRSB payments you received.

Determine if you may need to reimburse the CRB at tax time

Select the tax year

  • 2020

    Select how much net income you earned in 2020, not including CRB payments

    • Less than $38,000
    • Between $38,000 and $50,000
    • More than $50,000
  • 2021

    Select how much net income you expect to earn in 2021, not including CRB payments

    • Less than $38,000
    • More than $38,000

What to do at tax time

The CRA will provide you with a T4A tax information slip at tax time for the CRA-administered COVID-19 benefit amounts you received in 2020. Your T4A slip will also be available in CRA My Account.

You must report the CRB payments that you receive as income when you file your personal income tax return.

Verify your tax slips

All COVID-19 benefits that you received from the CRA in 2020 will be shown on one T4A slip, or on your RL-1 if you live in Quebec.

If you applied for multiple benefits or made repayments, verify that the amounts on your T4A slip are correct before you report them in your tax return.

Verify COVID-19 amounts on your T4A

Provincial or territorial COVID-19 financial assistance payments will be on separate T4A slips.

Report T4A amounts on your tax return

If you received a T4A slip, your CRB amount is shown in box 202. Other COVID-19 benefit amounts are in boxes 197 to 204:

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

Add up each COVID-19 benefit payment amount you received from your T4A slip and enter the total amount on line 13000 of your tax return.

In the space to the left of line 13000, specify the type of income you're reporting. If you're filing a paper return and received more than one benefit, attach a list of all the benefits you received.

Report the income tax deducted at source

If you received the CRB, CRCB or CRSB, the CRA withheld a 10% tax at source on each payment. Enter the income tax deducted from box 022 on line 43700 on your 2020 tax return.

For Quebec residents, the 10% tax withheld at source is split:

If you need to reimburse CRB

If you received the CRB and your net income is more than $38,000 (excluding CRB amounts), you may have to reimburse some or all of the benefit.

Determine if you need to reimburse the CRB

Any amounts you need to reimburse will be included as part of your total balance owing for your 2020 taxes.

If you're filing electronically

If you're filing with certified tax software, the amounts you need to reimburse should be calculated for you and added to your balance owing.

If you're filing a paper return

If line 23400 is more than $38,000, complete section "Line 23500 – Social benefits repayment" of the worksheet to calculate how much you need to reimburse.

Use the worksheet that applies to you:

You will have to reimburse $0.50 of the CRB for every dollar of net income you earned above $38,000. You will not have pay back more than what you received in CRB benefits for that year.

How to calculate the social benefits repayment on the worksheet

  1. Enter applicable amounts on lines 1 to 24
  2. Insert your CRB amount on line 25 (from box 202 on your T4A slip)
  3. Subtract your CRB amount from line 24 and enter the difference on line 26
  4. Subtract $38,000 (the base amount) from line 26
  5. Take the subtracted amount and multiply by 50%
  6. Use the CRB amount or the 50% calculation (whichever is less) to calculate the amount for line 23500
  7. Enter this amount on both line 23500 and line 42200 of your tax return

You do not have to attach the worksheet to your return, but keep it for your records.

If your income is tax exempt

If your income is eligible for tax exemption under section 87 of the Indian Act, your CRB payments may be tax exempt. Your CRB 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 the last 12 months), 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.

All CRB payments had a 10% tax was withheld at source. If your CRB payments in 2020 were tax exempt, you may be able to get some or all of that tax back by filing a 2020 tax return.

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 2020 balance owing, plus an additional 1% for each month that you are late (up to a maximum of 12 months).

Interest relief

Interest relief on your 2020 taxes owing will be given to people who have a total taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020, and received at least one COVID-19 benefit in 2020, such as the CRB.

Late-filing penalty charges still apply and are not part of this interest relief.

You must file your 2020 tax return to qualify for interest relief.

Eligibility criteria for interest relief

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