Canada wants you to snitch on people improperly claiming COVID-19 benefits
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)'s snitch line is now accepting tips relating to people that are fraudulently receiving the government's emergency benefit programs.
The agency's long-running "Leads Program" encourages Canadians to report suspected tax or benefit cheating, and it has recently been expanded to include tips on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
Canadians that don't qualify for the benefits they're receiving will be asked to repay them in full.
Not sure what benefits you qualify for?— Canada Revenue Agency (@CanRevAgency) June 1, 2020
Use this new online tool to easily determine what government financial help you can get, all in one place! https://t.co/vNY5eFYwkz #COVID19 #GCDigital pic.twitter.com/BpjRcLagMB
"When you submit a lead, you are supporting your community and the programs and services we all rely on to improve quality of life in Canada," the website says.
Canadians are asked to provide details about the individual's work, employer, schooling situation and eligibility for the benefits either via the online submission form, phone or mail.
Initially, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government would prioritize speed over thorough inspection of the applications, but it seems that the CRA is now doubling back to look more closely at who is actually eligible to receive government benefits.
"The CRA and Service Canada have records of all individuals who’ve received payments for the CERB and CESB, and are verifying to make sure the payments were correctly allocated," the CRA website says.
They added that the CEWS is also being investigated.
Eligible employers may now apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)! The easiest way to apply now is via:— Canada Revenue Agency (@CanRevAgency) April 27, 2020
➡️ My Business Account
➡️ Represent a client (for tax preparers)
#COVID19 (1/2) pic.twitter.com/rh8l9lLeR0
Canadians that applied for the CERB and mistakenly received two payments or later realized that were not eligible for the benefit can return or repay the money online or by mail.
As of June 1, eight million people are receiving the CERB, and the government has paid out over $42 billion in benefits.
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