If you’ve received COVID-19 benefits in Canada over the last year, the federal government is stepping up its support for you ahead of tax time.

In an announcement shared on Tuesday, Justin Trudeau confirmed that Canadians who received pandemic benefits will have a year to return any debt from those benefits without interest.

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This will give Canadians more time and flexibility. Canada Revenue Agency

The targeted interest relief will be available to individuals who had a total taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020 and have received income support through one of the federal government’s COVID-19 benefits.

This includes the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB).

It essentially means that Canadians who claimed benefits won't have to pay any interest on outstanding income tax debt until next year.

It will be applied automatically to all Canadians who meet the criteria, according to a government statement about the plan.

“Once individuals have filed their 2020 income tax and benefit return, they will not be required to pay interest on any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year until April 30, 2022,” explained the Canada Revenue Agency.

“This will give Canadians more time and flexibility to pay if they have an amount owing,” it added.

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