Deductions Exceed Earned Income Caution

*My client received the CERB and CRB during 2020. She had no other earned income - just a required HBP inclusion. She is a nurse and has a union dues slip from RNAO…
Is the amount not claimable for this year?

She should have a T4A for the CERB and CRB. Why would a she have no income - how does she qualify for CERB and CRB??

In 2020 she had no employment income. She does have a T4A from CERB and CRB. That income goes to Line 13000 so it is not being recognized as ‘earned’.
It is not important unless this will trigger an eFile error, or the deductions will be denied.

Line 21200 - Annual union, professional, or like dues

Note: Line 21200 was line 212 before tax year 2019.

Claim the total of the following amounts related to your employment that you paid (or that were paid for you and reported as income) in the year:

  • annual dues for membership in a trade union or an association of public servants
  • professional board dues required under provincial or territorial law
  • professional or malpractice liability insurance premiums or professional membership dues required to keep a professional status recognized by law
  • parity or advisory committee (or similar body) dues required under provincial or territorial law

Annual membership dues do not include initiation fees, licences, special assessments, or charges for anything other than the organization’s ordinary operating costs. You cannot claim charges for pension plans as membership dues, even if your receipts show them as dues.

This lady (young - not retired) is a nurse. If she does not pay her RNAO dues she loses her ability to practise in Ontario. She was ill at the beginning of 2020 and so was not working. Once COVID hit, she was unable to work, hence CERB and CRB. But her Registered Nurses Association of Ontario are still required. She will return to work as soon as she can. Is CERB not replacement income because you are required not to work? Surely the deductions should still be allowed.??

I remember hearing in a webinar that I attended, for 2020 due to covid-- income replacement crb would be considered as employment income for the purposes of calculating this credit as well as some other credits that were tied to employment.

Unfortunately, I have no backup to provide.

You may need to reach out to cra on this one… as I agree she is required by her association to keep the dues current.

However, CRA doesn’t always provide a tax break on all things we actually need to do.

Thanks rachelavryl. I am trying to call CRA to see if I can get a confirmation. The calling is not going well! Such a surprise!!

“Dues” are a S8(1)(i) deduction, permitted as a deduction from Employment income (Section 5/6 income, generally the amount reported on a T4 slip Box 14).

CERB (etc) Government benefits should be reported as mandated on the accompanying T4A (etc) slip.

I agree - claim it. Your argument is right on the money. Employment income is computed on a cash basis and once in a while, in certain circumstances, a taxpayer may have a loss from employment.

Clearing the review mark and submitting the return will not trigger an efile error.