This past year many British Columbians received CERB or other emergency benefits to help them through the economic impact of COVID-19. But those benefits could have a major impact on your taxes. Jas Dhillon from Coast Capital has more for us.
What kind of impact could [CERB] have [on your taxes]?
Well the big thing to remember is that some of the government emergency benefits that British Columbians received in 2020 such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit are considered personal income. Those benefits that were initially issued by the government weren’t taxed at the source, with the understanding that you would pay applicable taxes once you’ve filed your taxes for 2020. Some of the benefits that were issued later in 2020, there was some tax withheld. There was 10% tax withheld and if that were the case, it’s important that British Columbians are noting that when you’re filing your personal taxes. You will receive either a T4A or a T4E tax forms to file your taxes.
Now a lot of people obviously working from home over the past year and there was a Work From Home Benefit as well. How does that play into everything?
This is something that’s new, and something that’s called CRAs “temporary flat fee” method. The great news is you didn’t have to track any of these expenses yourself or with your employer. To take advantage of this benefit, as long as you were working from home for more than 50% of the time in 2020 for at least 4 consecutive weeks, you can take advantage of this benefits. It’s $2.00 per day up to $400.00 total. If you had additional expenses that were over $400.00, you just need to use the same traditional approach that you’ve used in previous years. The real good news story here is that more than one of you in a household are working from home, each of you are eligible for this work from home flat fee benefit.