Some Canadians who claimed CERB are reporting having their tax returns held back, Photo: John Bristowe/Flickr
Despite tax season recently wrapping up, some Canadians are still going back and forth with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) about their tax refunds being held back.
The Canadian government has reportedly begun to hold back all or portions of tax refunds for Canadians. Those affected apparently received Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments despite not being eligible.
Back in December, the auditor general reported that $4.6 billion in pandemic benefits were reportedly handed over to ineligible people throughout the pandemic.
In fact, Ottawa resident Jared Cornelius told the CBC that his entire refund was held back this year, despite the fact that he swears he was eligible for the $2,000 payment he received during the pandemic while he was out of work for one month.
“I felt like I just got robbed by my own government,” Cornelius said.
He said he’s phoned the agency many times and was told nothing can be done.
The Canadian government reportedly has 36 months from the time that benefits are paid to confirm that a payment was correct
As of April, more than one million notices about this have been sent out, according to the agency. The CRA said that about 775,000 people paid back the money, totalling almost $1.4 billion in returns. Additionally, the agency said it has also recuperated $237 million by holding back tax refunds.
Canadians Sound Off Online
Canadians have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the situation.
Some people feel the government is going too far.
“Shouldn’t be giving money out if you don’t know how to properly and efficiently distribute. Just creating problems for the public to resolve for you.”
“Yup this happened to me, and I even paid back over $2k in cerb…. Greedy Govy.”
While some don’t understand why people are confused.
“Some people had a field day with that money when they shouldn’t of received it, free money I’ve heard many say,” commented one person on Instagram.
“There were plenty of people who claimed, got it and shouldn’t have. I don’t blame the Gov wanting their money back,” shared another.
“No offense but I know plenty of people who took that CERB payment all willy nilly and had a field day. It is your responsibility to check if you are eligible for financial aid from the government as you would for regular EI etc. Now everyone is on social media crying crocodile tears about it. Everyone was warned they would have to pay it back if they did not qualify so why argue now? You took the money, it was not yours….pay it back.”
With files from Osobe Waberi.