is the cerb taxable

Is the CESB and CERB taxable and other frequently asked questions

Is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) taxable? Can you work while on the CERB? These are the questions that hundreds of Canadians across the country are asking.

Fortunately, with a little digging, the answers are pretty straightforward — so here's what you need to know.

Is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) taxable?

Yes; the CERB is a taxable benefit. That means in April 2021, the Canadian government will take some of the money back.

The benefit isn't taxed at the source, meaning that you'll receive the full $2,000 payment each month, but you'll be expected to report it as income when you file your income tax for the 2020 tax year.

How much is the CERB taxed?

The amount that you're taxed on the CERB depends on your individual circumstances; the federal government will claim a minimum of 15 per cent, while the tax rates in each province vary.

For example, if you're making less than $48,535 in total income each year, live in Alberta, and claim all $8,000 available from the benefit, you'll have to repay $2,000 at tax time.

In Ontario, you may have to pay less; if you're making less than $44,740 in total income each year and claim the maximum amount of $8,000, you'll only have to repay $1,604 at tax time.

What does the CERB payment schedule look like?

If you're eligible for the CERB, you'll need to reapply each month to continue receiving payments.

There are seven payment periods, but you can only apply to four.

is the cerb taxable

Canada Revenue Agency

You should reapply during the first week of each cycle, and choose which day of the week (e.g. Monday to Sunday) to apply based on when your birthday is.

The payment schedule is as follows:

  • January to March (Monday)
  • April to June (Tuesday)
  • July to September (Wednesday)
  • October to December (Thursday)
  • Any month (Friday to Sunday)

For example, if you're a Canadian born in February applying to the fourth payment period, then you should apply on June 8.

Can you work while on the CERB?

Yes, you can work while on the CERB — but only if you're earning less than $1,000 each month.

If you earn more than that amount, you're not eligible for the benefit.

When does the CERB end?

The CERB runs from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020.

You can only apply for a four-month period within that time frame. The deadline to apply for all payments is December 2, 2020.

What's the penalty for committing fraud on the CERB?

The government website says that there will not be any penalty for Canadians that have received a "payment in error."

However, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be checking eligibility at a future date, and if you're found not to be eligible for the CERB, you'll be asked to pay back the benefit in full.

If you have received a CERB payment in error, you can find instructions on how to pay that back here.

Is the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) taxable?

Yes, the CESB is taxable. That means in April 2021, the Canadian government will claim some of the money back.

The benefit isn't taxed at the source, meaning that you'll receive the full $1,250 payment each month, but you'll be expected to report it on next year's income tax return.

How much you'll be taxed depends on your individual financial circumstances, as well as where you live.

Students earning less than $12,000 this year won't have to worry about paying back part of the benefit since they don't make enough to qualify for income taxes, per Global News.

Will I need to pay back the CESB?

If you're eligible for the CESB, you will only have to pay back taxes on the benefit — not the full amount.

You will only have to pay back the full amount if the Canada Revenue Agency contacts you to say that you aren't eligible to receive the benefit.

What does the CESB payment schedule look like?

The CESB runs from March 10, 2020 to September 3, 2020.

If you're eligible for the CESB, you'll need to reapply each month to continue receiving payments.

The payment schedule is as follows:

  • May 10, 2020 to June 6, 2020
  • June 7, 2020 to July 4, 2020
  • July 5, 2020 to August 1, 2020
  • August 2, 2020 to August 29, 2020

You should reapply during the first week of each cycle, and choose which day of the week (e.g. Monday to Sunday) to apply based on when your birthday is.

The payment schedule is as follows:

  • January to March (Monday)
  • April to June (Tuesday)
  • July to September (Wednesday)
  • October to December (Thursday)
  • Any month (Friday to Sunday)

For example, if you're a Canadian born in February applying to the second payment period, then you should apply on June 8.

Can high school students apply for the CESB?

High school students may be eligible to receive the CESB if they:

  • are a Canadian citizen
  • graduated/expect to graduate from high school in 2020 and have applied for a post-secondary program that starts before February 1, 2021
  • are unable to work due to COVID-19/are working but earning less than $1,000 each month
  • did not apply or receive the CERB benefits

If you graduate from high school after June 7, you will only be eligible for the final two CESB payment periods.

Can international students apply for the CESB/the CERB?

International students in Canada are not eligible to receive the CESB. They may, however, be able to claim the CERB if they:

  • Reside in Canada and are at least 15 years of age
  • Did not quit their job voluntarily
  • Earned a minimum of $5,000 (before taxes) in the last 12 months or in 2019
  • Have stopped working due to COVID-19 or are unable to work because of COVID-19
  • Are working but earning less than $1,000 each month
Can you apply for the CERB and the CESB?

No, you can't apply for both the CERB and the CESB. If you're eligible to receive both benefits, you can find more information on how to choose the best one to apply for here.

Lead photo by

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