We now have a better idea about the audit techniques CRA will have at their fingertips to ensure the Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB) received by laid off or furloughed employees, The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidies (CEWS) received by employers are validated. The numbers will appear on a new T4 slip, which is likely to cause a few headaches for small employers and create some new opportunities for bookkeepers and tax accountants. Here are the details:
To begin, there will be additional reporting from payroll records, and this will apply to all employers whether CEWS was received or not.
Employment income will be reported in Box 14 or Code 71 as usual. After this employment income earned in specific periods will be required:
These are four distinct periods that CERB was payable. Note however that the maximum amount of CERB that could be claimed was for a total of 14 weeks and a total of $14,000.
The eligibility period for CEWS was from March 15 to November 21 (with a possible extension – yet unconfirmed - to a Period 10 ending December 19).
The eligibility period for CESB began in May and ending in August.
Employers will be required to report employment income and any retroactive payments made during these periods. The government cites a specific example: employment income reported for the period April 25 to May 8 will be noted in Code 58.
More detail will be presented at the September and November CE Summits. Register by September 15 for early-bird pricing for the September 30 virtual event.
Also please note, a Pandemic Relief Benefits Handout for your clients is available to all Knowledge Bureau Report readers. Download it here.
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