As Anxieties Grow Over CERB Notices, Qualtrough Says No Requirement to Repay Now

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Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday, August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says federal notices to emergency aid recipients are an attempt to verify information and avoid making tax time next year overly complicated.

The Canada Revenue Agency has sent out more than 400,000 letters to Canada Emergency Response Benefit recipients in recent weeks asking them to verify they met eligibility rules for the payments.

In some cases, the information provided has led the revenue agency to determine someone didn’t meet all the requirements, leading to requests that they repay thousands of dollars.

Qualtrough says no one who can’t pay the money back immediately will be forced to do so.

She says the repayment asks are designed to ensure accurate tax receipts are issued for this calendar year and don’t affect benefits and tax credits recipients may receive or claim next year.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Qualtrough says the letters are part of efforts to get ahead of problems that may arise during tax season in 2021.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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