CRA should warn benefits applicants about risk of clawbacks: Taxpayers’ watchdog

CRA should warn benefits applicants about risk of clawbacks: Taxpayers' watchdog
Canadian Taxpayers Ombudsperson, Francois Boileau, speaks during a news conference after releasing his 2021-2022 Annual Report, in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022.

Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson François Boileau says the Canada Revenue Agency should warn Canadians applying for benefits about the risk of potential clawbacks to other income supports.

Boileau recommended in his latest annual report that the CRA make it clear to applicants that benefits that increase their income could affect other benefits they receive.

Boileau said during a news conference today that the recommendation was inspired by the experience of some seniors during the pandemic who saw their guaranteed income supplements cut because they accepted COVID-19 benefits.

The federal government issued one-time payments in April to compensate seniors affected by such clawbacks.

Boileau’s report provided other recommendations to the CRA to improve its service delivery and highlighted that 40 per cent of the inquiries his office received last year related to COVID-19 benefits.

The ombudsperson also raised concerns about vulnerable individuals not filing their taxes and missing out on benefits and said he would be providing recommendations in the future to address this.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 13, 2022.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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