Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has rolled out various support programs. These programs include the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). Recipients of these benefits should be aware that these amounts are taxable and must be reported on their 2020 personal income tax return.
If you received benefits from the CRA regarding any of the programs mentioned above (CERB, CESB, CRB, CRSB, CRCB) then the CRA will send you a T4A slip (Government of Canada, 2021).
There are several box numbers that will be on the T4A slip that relate to the various benefits as follows:
- Box 197 – Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- Box 198 – Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
- Box 199 – Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CESB) for eligible students with disabilities or those with children or other dependents
- Box 200 – Provincial/Territorial COVID-19 financial assistance payments
- Box 202 – Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
- Box 203 – Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
- Box 204 – Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
All these amounts must be reported on line 13000 – Other Income on your 2020 personal tax return. If you received a CRB, CRCB, or CRSB payment the CRA has withheld a 10% tax at the source of each of these. In this case, you will need to report the income tax deducted as well. The income tax deducted will show up on Box 022 of your T4A slip and the amount should be entered on line 43700 – Total income tax deducted of your 2020 personal tax return.
If you have applied for CERB through service Canada or received any Employment Insurance (EI) benefits you would not receive a T4A slip and would receive a T4E slip. The T4E includes Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, CERB payments from Service Canada, or overpayments repaid from a previous year.
If you did not apply through Service Canada and you received COVID-19 benefit payments, then you should receive a T4A slip before March 10, 2021. If you do not receive a T4A slip by then or if the information on the T4A slip is incorrect, please contact the CRA at 1-800-959-8281.