Help with CERB: The $1000 income limit is Net (not gross)

Note from Patricia: I received the email below from one of our grads who said I could share it in case it might help other people who are self employed.


I phoned the CRA because my bookkeeper thought that the $1000 for self employed was gross and not net. I found out from the CRA that it is net (which I figured it would be). I also asked the CRA if it was based strictly on net, or what you were able to pay yourself, and they said strictly on net.

I asked my bookkeeper to enter in all of my receipts up until the end of August (everything was up to date up until the end of June because I had that done for HST). I then asked her to do reports for me based on the actual CERB pay periods and asked her to give me a report for each period.

After she did that I was able to determine that I am eligible for 5 out of the 6 pay periods that have taken place so far. I wasn’t 100% sure if I qualified, so this gives me huge peace of mind.

My bookkeeper didn’t add in the 20% that I claim for household expenses such as utilities and property taxes (she usually does that at the end of the year). Our plan was that if any of the months were just a bit above the $1000, then I would have done the calculations for utilities to see if that made a difference. For the one month that I was over it was too significant to be brought down enough that way.

I have saved the reports so that I have them if I am audited or questioned.

Patricia Dent

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