The Canada Revenue Agency has denied or adjusted $458 million in funds disbursed to employers through a pandemic-era wage subsidy program as a result of a partially completed auditing process.
The agency is releasing a report Monday that offers detailed findings of its audits of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program. The bulk of the findings cover the period ending March 31, but the report also offers more up-to-date figures as of Sept. 29.
The CEWS program subsidized businesses’ staff wages by 75 per cent in hopes of encouraging companies to hold on to their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, as governments enacted shutdowns.
Overall, the program disbursed about $100 billion in wage subsidies.
A report from auditor general Karen Hogan last year warned that thousands of businesses that received wage subsidies may not have been eligible for the program, after finding their GST and HST filings didn’t show a sufficient drop in revenue to qualify.
Monday’s report finds the majority of employers that received the subsidy were highly compliant. Most claim adjustments were related to calculation errors and lack of documentation, rather than ineligibility.
Out of the $5.53 billion worth of audits completed by the end of March, $325 million in claims were reduced or denied.
And the audits that overlapped with claims flagged by the auditor general found $134.5 million that needed to be adjusted or rejected. The report says insufficient revenue decline accounted for 14 per cent of those adjustments.
The total claims adjusted or denied rose to $458 million by the end of September.
“Our reading of the results is they show a high level of compliance overall by the majority of employers who applied and received the wageRead more on globalnews.ca