CANADA | Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson to monitor and examine issues related to CRA communications about the collection of COVID-related benefit overpayments

On 4 May 2023, the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson, Mr. François Boileau, announced his intention to closely monitor complaints received at his office concerning individuals who have already paid back COVID-related benefit overpayments to the Government of Canada yet are still receiving collection letters from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

It is possible that another department, such as Employment and Social Development Canada, has contacted these individuals for payment and that they have complied by making a payment, but the CRA is unaware.

If these complaints are not isolated cases, the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson could launch a systemic investigation to shed light on these issues and, if necessary, it could focus the analysis beyond individual cases to a systemic examination.

The Ombudsperson indicates that his Office will continue to examine individual complaints received and those yet to come. He invites anyone facing such a situation to contact his office.

However, he cautions that his Office has been impacted by the recent labour disruptions. Therefore, it may take longer than normal to process complaints.

The Ombudsperson would like to remind you that if your financial situation is urgent, if you cannot make ends meet, if you are having difficulties meeting the necessities of life and you are experiencing delays in getting your tax refund or other benefit, do not hesitate to call his Office or file a complaint electronically. Mr. Boileau expects that, despite the recent labour disruptions, the CRA will give these complaints priority.


Source: The Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson, Canada

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