As the cost of living continues to climb, it’s becoming harder and harder for low to modest-income families to keep their heads above water. Fortunately, the federal Canada Workers Benefit can help. It’s a refundable tax credit that helps to cover the cost of groceries, rent, and childcare for eligible Canadians. And thanks to recent government changes, it’s now easier than ever for CWB recipients to get their money sooner than ever.
Beginning this Friday, the first of three quarterly advance payments of the new Canada Workers Benefit will be sent to bank accounts across the country. Single eligible workers can receive up to $1,428, families up to $2,461 in benefit support, and a disability supplement.
Previously, CWB eligibility was determined by reviewing taxpayers’ previous year’s tax returns. But as of this year, the CRA will now automatically deliver advance payments to individuals and families who were CWB-eligible in 2022 (with a maximum of 50% of their basic CWB entitlement) ahead of filing their 2023 tax return in early 2024.
Eligible individuals and families can claim the CWB on line 45300 of their Income Tax and Benefit Return, with adjustments for their province/territory, family size, working income, net income, and eligible dependents. The amounts vary by province and territory, with calculations for Alberta, Nunavut, and Quebec differing from those of other jurisdictions.
A Canadian worker who earns less than a certain threshold can now receive advance payments to help cover the cost of their daily needs. The Canada Workers Benefit is an improved version of the Working Income Tax Benefit and will put more money in the pockets of low-income families. This is just one of the many measures being introduced by the federal government to address the rising cost of living.
The new Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) was launched on Friday. It’s an enhanced refundable credit for low-income individuals and families that includes a disability supplement. It’s designed to help those struggling to make ends meet as prices continue to rise and wages stagnate. The first advance payments are expected to begin distributing this week.
Previously, those who qualified for the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) had to apply for it annually. The CWB eliminates the need for applicants to file a claim as CRA will automatically identify eligible low-income families who meet the eligibility criteria when they file their taxes.
To be eligible for CWB, you must have earned employment income, be a resident of Canada at the time of filing your taxes, and meet other requirements. For example, you must be 19 years of age or older on December 31 and not enrolled full-time in a course at a designated educational institution. You must also not be a diplomat, servant, or officer of another country, and you cannot be confined to a prison for more than 90 days.
How to Apply for CWB?
You can apply for CWB by filing your end-of-year tax return. If you file electronically, follow the instructions in your tax software, or if filing by hand, fill out Schedule 6. CRA will then determine your eligibility and calculate the amount that will be entered on line 45300 (line 453 prior to 2019) of your return. You can also request advance CWB payments by logging in to your CRA My Account and completing the Canada Workers Benefit advance payment application online or by printing and filling out RC201 Canada Workers Benefit Advance Payment Application form.
To claim the CWB, simply complete Schedule 6 on your income tax return. The amount of the CWB will appear on line 45300 of your tax return, and you can include it in your total income. Note that you need to complete step 3 of the Schedule 6 if you are applying for the CWB disability supplement. If you need assistance filing your taxes, contact a Sudbury tax centre.