Canada Emergency Response Benefit: Return or Repayment

Prepared by: Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic

(Current as of: May 13, 2020)

Download PDF

Who has to repay?

You may have to repay the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) because you became ineligible or were not eligible in the first place. For example:

  • You earned more employment or self-employment income during a 4-week eligibility period than you had expected
    • This could be due to being rehired, finding a new job, or working an increased number of hours at an existing job
  • You applied for the CERB but later realize that you are not eligible
  • You received a CERB payment from both Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the same period
  • You received a CERB payment but later, your employer put you back on the payroll during the same 4-week eligibility period after receiving the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Repayment conditions

  • For your first 4-week eligibility period:
    • You will need to repay the $2,000 CERB if you earned more than $1,000 (before taxes) from employment or self-employment income 14 days in a row
  • For subsequent 4-week eligibility periods:
    • You will need to repay the $2,000 CERB if you earned or will earn more than $1,000 (before taxes) from employment or self-employment income during that period.

Impact on tax slips

The CERB is taxable but not withheld at the source, meaning you will have to report the CERB as income when you file income taxes. You will receive a T4A tax slip on the amount of CERB that you received.

If you repay the CERB, the CRA will not issue a T4A for that payment. To ensure that CRA does not issue slips improperly, you need to repay any CERB that you are not eligible for before December 31, 2020.

If you need more time to repay, you must contact the CRA by December 31, 2020 to request an extension and to discuss a payback schedule.

How to repay the CERB?

A. If you were paid by direct deposit or do not have the original CERB cheque, you can repay by one of the three following ways:

  • Online: using CRA My Account
  • Online banking: with your financial institution
    • Sign in to your financial institution’s online banking service
    • Under “Add a payee” search for: CRA (revenue) – tax instalment
    • Enter your 9-digit social insurance number (SIN) as the CRA account number
    • Pay the amount owing to CRA as a “bill”
  • By mail: mail a cheque or money order to the CRA
    • Make the payment out to “Receiver General for Canada”
    • Indicate on the cheque that it is for “Repayment of CERB”
    • Indicate which eligibility period(s) you are repaying
    • Include your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Temporary Tax Number (TTN)
    • Mail your payment (see mailing address below)

 B. If you still have the original CERB cheque:

You can return the cheque by mail.

  • Include in the envelope the following information:
    • the reason for returning the cheque (not entitled or overpayment)
    • your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Temporary Tax Number (TTN)
  • Mail your cheque to:

Revenue Processing – Repayment of CERB
Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON P3A 0C3


For most updated information, please see our website:
For legal advice, please call the clinic at 416-971-9674

Enter your keyword