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Filing taxes? Remember pandemic support payments are taxable income

Published on: March 31st, 2022

As you pull together all the usual slips and information to prepare for the tax filing season, don’t forget about the potential impact of the government’s pandemic support programs.

The most important thing to know is that income from all Government of Canada’s pandemic support programs for individuals is taxable. This includes the original Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) as well as its replacements the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). If applicable, you should receive a T4A from the federal government detailing the income you received from any and all of these programs. Note that no funds were withheld for taxes in these programs. The amount of tax you ultimately pay on them will be determined by your overall marginal tax rate when you calculate and file your 2021 tax return.

The federal government also introduced a number of programs to support Canadian businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally speaking, the payments from these programs, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), are taxable income. If you are a business owner of any kind, be sure to seek out professional tax advice to manage these tax issues.

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