I am calling on the Liberal Government to close the loophole in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which allows companies to charge fees for completing CERB applications.
The Liberals are letting these tax credit promoters profit off a pandemic while scaring citizens from applying for CERB. The Liberals added penalties for fraud, but left the profiteering loophole open.
Benefit recipients, who were not eligible but unknowingly applied at the urging of tax credit promoters, will be liable to repay the entire benefit, including the fees paid to the promoter.
The law does not stop the pandemic profiteering by tax promoters by prohibiting fees for filing a simple application.
Any company charging fees which encouraged people to apply, knowing the applicant may be ineligible, should be subject to fraud charges.
Even if the company did not know the applicant was ineligible, it should be on the hook for the full cost of repaying taxpayers.
Tax preparation companies, who stepped up during the global crisis to provide free assistance for CERB applications, should be protected from liability for unknowingly assisting with a fraudulent or erroneous application.
Tax credit promoters exploiting the pandemic for profit by charging fees for CERB applications should be liable for the full cost of erroneous applications and share full liability for even unwittingly assisting in a fraudulent application.
If a tax credit promoter charges people to forward a CERB application, it must pay for any mistakes, not the Canadians they promoted into applying.