Yes. If someone received the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and is later found ineligible for the benefit, they are required to repay the funds to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). As well, if an individual was given a CRB payment in error, they are also required to pay that money back to the CRA.  

I heard the CRB has a clawback. What does that mean? 

A clawback is a term used when money or benefits that have been given out are required to be returned due to specific circumstances or events.  

If individuals who received the CRB benefit have an annual net income of over $38,000 excluding the CRB payment, they will need to repay some or all the benefit to the CRA via their income tax return. In most cases, they will be required to repay 50 cents of the benefit for every dollar in net income they earned above $38,000 in 2020, to a maximum of the CRB received in the year.  

Net income for purposes of the CRB includes all income earned from any source for which you would pay income tax, with the exception of benefits received from the CRB, payments from a registered disability plan, money received for the Canada Child Benefit and GST/HST credit, with some further adjustments for split income and certain repaid amounts.

Net income will also include any CERB (Canada Emergency Relief Benefit), CRSB (Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit) and CRCB (Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit) payments received on top of any payments received through the CRB.   

Note that CRB repayments based on net income are due at the same time as your personal tax return for 2020. 

If you weren’t aware of the CRB clawback or are unsure how you will pay back the income tax you owe, meet with a Grant Thornton debt professional for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your options.