Recipients of COVID⁠-⁠19 assistance

The COVID⁠-⁠19 pandemic has affected many sectors of the economy. This page shows you where to report any COVID⁠-⁠19 benefits you received under the IPREW or another government program in your tax return.

Mario received IPREW benefits as a salaried employee and essential worker

Mario is 21 and works in a grocery store. He applied for benefits under the Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW), which was created by the Québec government to provide assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because he met the conditions, he got the full $1,600 in taxable benefits—$100 for each of the 16 weeks of qualifying work from March 15 to July 4, 2020. Mario doesn’t have a spouse or children, and his total income for 2020 is $25,000. He’s unsure whether he’ll have to pay back his benefits.

As long as he meets the following conditions, Mario won’t have to pay back his IPREW benefits:

  • His gross wages were $550 or less per week.
  • His total annual income (not including his IPREW benefits) was $28,600 or less.
  • He didn’t receive any other government COVID-19 assistance, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) or any of the Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB, CRSB or CRCB) for any of the weeks for which he got IPREW benefits.
  • He was resident in Québec on December 31, 2020.
  • He filed his tax return for 2020.
  • He worked full-time or part-time as an essential worker every week of qualifying work.

If ever Mario has to pay back his IPREW benefits, Revenu Québec will let him know how much he has to pay back.

Q&A — Mario
  • What can Mario do if he has to pay back his IPREW benefits but can't afford to right away?

    If Mario can’t afford to pay back his benefits in a single payment right away, he must contact Revenu Québec as quickly as possible.

    If he meets the conditions, he may be able to reach an agreement with Revenu Québec for paying back his benefits in multiple payments.

    Learn more
  • What do “eligible employment income” and “total annual income” mean?

    It’s simple. Eligible employment income means gross work income. Total annual income means gross work income plus investment income, support payments, indemnities, etc. The total of all this income must not exceed $28,600 for 2020.

Olivia received IPREW benefits as a salaried employee and essential worker, then she lost her job and applied for the CERB

Olivia used to work as a housekeeper. Her hours were cut drastically at the outset of the COVID⁠-⁠19 pandemic, but she was able to get benefits under Québec’s Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW). However, after new public health measures were introduced in late May of 2020, she was let go from her job. She notified Revenu Québec that she was no longer eligible for the IPREW and applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). She’s worried because she earned less than $19,500 in 2020 and she’s heard that she’ll have to pay income tax on her benefits, but she has no idea how to report them in her tax return.

For her IPREW benefits, Olivia must enter the amount from box O of the RL-1 slip she got from Revenu Québec in her Québec tax return. The benefits are taxable.

If Olivia also received federal benefits such as the CERB, the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) or any of the Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB, CRSB or CRCB), she’ll receive either an RL-1 slip from the Canada Revenue Agency or a T4E slip from Service Canada. In her Québec tax return, she must enter the amount from box O of the RL-1 slip or the equivalent box of the T4E slip. These benefits are also taxable.

Q&A — Olivia
  • What should Olivia do if she gets an RL-1 slip from Revenu Québec or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and her identity's been stolen?

    If Olivia thinks that her identity’s been stolen or she that was the victim of fraud, she needs to contact Revenu Québec or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre as soon as possible. If she thinks her identity’s been stolen specifically with regard to a federal program (CERB, CESB, CRB, CRSB or CRCB), she must contact the CRA first.

  • When she does her taxes, Olivia sees that she has to pay income tax for 2020. Can the interest on her balance due be waived?

    Interest on Olivia’s income tax due for 2020 can be waived until April 30, 2022, because she meets both of the following conditions:

    • Her taxable income for 2020 was $75,000 or less.
    • She received benefits under the IPREW, CERB, CESB, CRB, CRSB or CRCB, or Employment Insurance benefits.

    She doesn’t need to apply for the waiver. The interest will be waived automatically.

    Recently announced relief measures are in effect for this tax season. To learn more, refer to the COVID-19 FAQ for individuals.

    Learn more