In 2020, the federal government introduced emergency benefits to help Canadians get the financial relief they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. You might have received an emergency benefit, like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), but later found out you weren’t actually eligible for it.
If you repaid COVID-19 support benefits in 2021, you can claim all or some of the amount you repaid on your 2021 return. Here’s what you need to know about claiming your COVID-19 support benefit repayments.
You’ll receive a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Service Canada notifying you if you need to repay any COVID-19 support benefits you received.
The amount you repaid (and the taxes you’ve paid on any COVID-19 support benefits you received) will be used to reduce the taxes you owe when you file your 2021 return. This means the taxes you owe from your 2021 return will be lowered by the amount you’ve sent to the CRA or Service Canada to repay your COVID-19 benefits.
The amount you receive for the GST/HST credit, Canada Child Benefit, and many provincial benefits depends on your net income reported on your return. If you repaid your COVID-19 emergency benefits in 2021, your total income for 2021 will be lower and so your credits or benefits might increase.
In February 2021, the government announced that self-employed individuals who mistakenly applied for the CERB based on their gross income (the amount you made before subtracting your work-related expenses) are no longer required to pay back their benefits.
This means you might not have to repay your CERB amounts if:
You earned at least $5,000 in 2019 before subtracting your expenses and
You meet the other eligibility requirements
If you already repaid your CERB amounts but you’re now considered eligible for the benefit, you can ask the CRA and Service Canada to give you back the amount you repaid by using the T180 (CERB reimbursement application for self-employed individuals) form. You can submit this form through your CRA My Account or by mail. Visit the CRA website for more information about the T180 form.
The amount of COVID-19 support benefits you repaid in 2021 will be reported on one of the following slips:
If you received COVID-19 support benefits through the CRA, you’ll receive a T4A slip showing how much you repaid. You’ll find the total amount of federal and/or provincial COVID-19 benefits you repaid in 2021 in box 201.
If you received federal COVID-19 support benefits through Service Canada, you’ll receive a T4E slip showing how much you repaid. You’ll find the total amount you repaid in 2021 in box 30.
If you repaid COVID-19 benefits in 2021 that weren’t reported on a T4A or T4E slip, you’ll need to report the on the Special Situations page in H&R Block's tax software.
To claim the COVID-19 benefit repayments reported on your T4A slip, follow these steps in H&R Block's tax software:
To claim the COVID-19 benefit repayments reported on your T4E slip, follow these steps in H&R Block's tax software: