CRA is coming for your CERB repayment and Canadians are worried
CRA wants your CERB repayment whether you like it or not.
If you were among the many people in Canada that took advantage of the Canadian Emergency Response Program (CERB) in the last two years, you might want to double check your claims were legitimate.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is now in the process of verifying the many payments they distributed to people at the beginning of the lockdown and many Canadians are currently being told they have to pay some or all of that money back.
CERB: Basically the letter I got stated: You qualified for it, you properly indicated the period you qualified for it, but we're stupid government bureaucrats and we gave you one too many check. So now that you paid taxes on it and the elections are far behind: pay it back!— Christian Boutin (@christianboutin) May 30, 2022
Though it's not clear yet how many people will receive these lovely notices in the mail, it could be devastating to low-income people who may be unable to pay back what they've received.
They knew going in that repayment was a possibility. I know two people on welfare who collected CERB, now they are pissed off they have to repay. They thought the government were suckers at the time and bragged about it. No sympathy from me.— PoliticalCupid for PM 🌻💙🇺🇦💛 #PoiliNever (@PoliticalCupid) May 30, 2022
It doesn't end there - verification work will continue over the next four years as new data from tax returns and records of employment come into play, according to Employment and Social Development Canada.
Advocates are asking the government to forgive these debts which could severely affect people's livelihoods.
Dude why am I getting a cerb repayment notice right now I’m gonna kms!!!!!— cringelord69 (@milddevon) May 25, 2022
They're also stressing the fact that a lot of people didn't know who was eligible to receive CERB payments, many of them getting more money than they were qualified for without even realizing it.
CERB was set up in the stupidest of ways, it should have gone through EI with SIN numbers from day one yes. BUT those of you who stole or double-dipped deserve what you are now getting. Period.— Cynthia Sirian (@lahey_cynthia) May 30, 2022
Though there are always exceptions, many CERB recipients who are now facing repayment did not apply with the intention of abusing the system.
How does the Canadian government get away with first saying “you won’t have to pay CERB back” to “oh you need to pay taxes on CERB” to “ops we accidentally gave you too much money, our bad, but you’ll need to pay it back ASAP” 🙄🙄— Hayley Parrill (@HayleyJaclyn13) May 25, 2022
A lot of people are worried about what's to come, criticizing the government for not simply letting the payments go.
Especially with inflation, the general consensus is that CERB should be treated as a grant instead of a loan. Much of the money that people have received has already been spent on rent and other necessities.
Anyone who wishes to challenge their notice should contact the CRA to verify their claim.
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