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This Act is current to February 24, 2021
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Income Tax Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 215

Part 14 — Emergency Benefit for Workers

Definitions

214   In this Part:

"commissioner" means the Commissioner of Income Tax;

"determination" includes a redetermination;

"emergency benefit" means the emergency benefit for workers under this Part for the 2019 taxation year.

Eligibility for emergency benefit

215   (1) An individual is eligible for an emergency benefit if the individual meets all the following requirements:

(a) either of the following applies:

(i) the individual

(A) is entitled to receive an income support payment under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act, and

(B) has not repaid or is not required to repay all of the income support payments received under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act;

(ii) the individual would have been entitled to receive an income support payment under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act if

(A) that Act read in accordance with subsection (6) of this section, and

(B) the individual had made an application in accordance with that Act;

(b) the individual was a resident of British Columbia at the end of March 15, 2020;

(c) the individual is not receiving assistance under a prescribed assistance program during a prescribed period, except assistance received for a prescribed reason;

(d) the individual has applied for the emergency benefit in accordance with section 216 of this Act.

(2) Despite subsection (1), an individual is not eligible for an emergency benefit if the individual is confined to a prison or similar institution for a period of at least 90 days that includes March 15, 2020.

(3) For the purposes of this Part, an individual must file before January 1, 2021 a return of income under section 29 for the 2019 taxation year.

(4) If an individual has been paid an amount under this Part and the individual has not filed a return of income in accordance with subsection (3), the commissioner may determine that the individual is not eligible for the emergency benefit.

(5) Despite subsection (1), if a notice of determination is sent to an individual under section 217 (3) after a determination under subsection (4) of this section, the individual is deemed never to have been eligible for the emergency benefit.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (1) (a) (ii),

(a) the reference to "March 15, 2020" in section 5 (1) of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act must be read as a reference to "March 1, 2020",

(b) the reference to "at least 14 consecutive days within the four-week period in respect of which they apply for the payment" in section 6 (1) (a) of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act must be read as a reference to "at least 14 consecutive days that begin on or after March 1, 2020 and before March 15, 2020", and

(c) the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act must be read without reference to section 6 (1) (b) (ii) of that Act.

Application for tax credit

216   (1) An individual who wishes to claim an emergency benefit must file with the commissioner an application for the emergency benefit

(2) The application must be filed in the form and manner, and contain the information, required by the commissioner.

(3) In addition to the application, the individual must file with the application, or within a later period approved by the commissioner, any other information or records required by the commissioner.

(4) An application under this section must be filed on or before December 2, 2020.

Determination of tax credit

217   (1) The commissioner must examine an application and other information or records filed under section 216 and determine whether the individual is eligible for an emergency benefit.

(2) If the commissioner determines that an individual is eligible for an emergency benefit, the commissioner may send to the individual a notice of determination.

(3) If the commissioner determines that an individual is not eligible for an emergency benefit, the commissioner must send to the individual a notice of determination.

(4) A notice may be in the form and sent in the manner determined by the commissioner.

(5) In determining whether an individual is eligible for an emergency benefit, the commissioner is not bound by an application or other information or records filed by or on behalf of the individual.

Payment of emergency benefit

218   (1) An overpayment of $1 000 on account of an individual's liability under this Act for the 2019 taxation year is deemed to have arisen if the individual has claimed and is eligible for an emergency benefit.

(2) If an overpayment is deemed to have arisen under subsection (1), the Provincial minister must pay, out of the consolidated revenue fund, the amount of the overpayment after the commissioner determines the individual is eligible for the emergency benefit.

(3) The amount payable under subsection (2) must be paid by electronic funds transfer.

(4) Despite the Financial Administration Act and the Interest on Overdue Accounts Payable Regulation, B.C. Reg. 215/83, no interest is payable by the government with respect to the amount payable under subsection (2).

Notice to commissioner if individual no longer eligible for emergency benefit

219   (1) If an individual receives an amount paid under section 218 and the individual no longer meets all of the eligibility requirements in section 215 (1), the individual must file a notice with the commissioner on or before the later of

(a) August 31, 2020, and

(b) the date that is 30 days after the earliest of the following, as applicable:

(i) the date the individual repaid all of the income support payments the individual received under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act;

(ii) the date the individual received notice that the Minister of Employment and Social Development for Canada has determined that the individual is not entitled to the income support payments the individual received under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act;

(iii) the date the individual no longer meets the eligibility requirement in section 215 (1) (a) (ii) of this Act;

(iv) the date the individual received assistance referred to in section 215 (1) (c) of this Act.

(2) The notice must be filed in the form and manner, and contain the information, required by the commissioner.

(3) In addition to the notice, the individual must file with the notice any other information or records required by the commissioner.

Determination period

220   The commissioner may determine eligibility for an emergency benefit, or determine and impose any penalty payable under this Part,

(a) subject to paragraph (b), on or before December 2, 2023, or

(b) at any time,

(i) if any individual has made any misrepresentation or committed any fraud in filing an individual's application or in filing information or records under this Part,

(ii) to give effect to a waiver or cancellation of a penalty under section 224 [waiver or cancellation of penalty], or

(iii) to give effect to a decision of the Provincial minister under section 228 [appeal to Provincial minister] or a decision of a court under section 229 [appeal to court].

Overpayment cannot be attached or assigned

221   An overpayment payable under section 218

(a) cannot be charged or given as security,

(b) cannot be assigned except under a prescribed Act,

(c) cannot be garnished or attached,

(d) is exempt from execution or seizure, and

(e) cannot be retained by way of set-off under the Financial Administration Act.

Imposition of administrative penalty

222   (1) The commissioner may determine and impose a penalty on an individual who is liable to a penalty under section 223.

(2) If the commissioner imposes a penalty on an individual, the commissioner must send to the individual a notice of determination that specifies the amount of the penalty imposed.

Administrative penalties

223   (1) An individual who knowingly or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence in the carrying out of any duty or obligation imposed under this Part makes, or participates in, assents to or acquiesces in the making of, a statement or omission in an application, return, report, notice or other record filed with the commissioner that results in any individual receiving a payment under this Part for which the individual is not eligible, or that would have resulted in any individual receiving a payment under this Part for which the individual is not eligible if eligibility had been determined on the basis of the information provided in the application, return, report, notice or other record, is liable to a penalty of $3 000.

(2) An individual who fails to file with the commissioner a notice in accordance with section 219 is liable, in respect of each failure, to a penalty of $10 for each day after which the notice was required to be filed under that section, to a maximum of $250.

Waiver or cancellation of penalty

224   The commissioner may at any time waive or cancel all or part of any penalty otherwise payable by an individual under this Part.

Interest payable to government under this Part

225   (1) If an amount is deemed under section 231 [individual to repay amount] to be an amount payable by an individual, the individual is liable to pay interest on the amount from the later of

(a) the date the amount to be repaid was paid under this Part to the individual, and

(b) October 1, 2020

until the date of payment.

(2) An individual must pay to the government interest on a penalty imposed under this Part as follows:

(a) in the case of a penalty under section 223 (1) [gross negligence], from the later of

(i) the date on which the application, return, report, notice or other record was filed, and

(ii) October 1, 2020

until the date of payment;

(b) in the case of a penalty under section 223 (2) [failure to file notice], from the later of

(i) the date of the notice of determination that specifies the amount of the penalty imposed, and

(ii) October 1, 2020

until the date of payment.

(3) Interest payable to the government under this Part must be calculated at the prescribed rate and in the prescribed manner.

No interest if full payment within 30 days

226   Despite any other provision of this Part, if

(a) a notice of determination or statement of account sent to an individual by the commissioner specifies an amount that is owing to the government under this Part by the individual, and

(b) the individual, within 30 days after the date on the notice of determination or statement of account, pays the amount owing in full,

interest is not payable on the amount owing from the date on the notice of determination or statement of account until the date of payment.

Waiver or cancellation of interest

227   The commissioner may at any time waive or cancel all or part of any interest otherwise payable by an individual under this Part.

Appeal to Provincial minister

228   (1) An individual may appeal to the Provincial minister an imposition of a penalty under section 222.

(2) An appeal under subsection (1)

(a) must be made within 90 days after the date on the notice of determination in respect of the matter being appealed, and

(b) must be made by serving a notice of appeal on the Provincial minister by mailing the notice to that minister.

(3) The appellant must set out in the notice of appeal a statement of all material facts and the reasons in support of the appeal.

(4) On receipt of all relevant information from the commissioner and the notice of appeal, the Provincial minister must

(a) confirm, reverse or vary the commissioner's decision or determination, and

(b) notify the appellant in writing of the minister's decision.

(5) The Provincial minister may authorize any officer of the ministry to perform and exercise duties imposed and powers conferred on the Provincial minister by this section as may in the Provincial minister's opinion be conveniently performed or exercised by that officer.

(6) The performance or exercise by the officer authorized under subsection (5) of the duties or powers referred to in that subsection is of the same effect as if the duties or powers were performed or exercised by the Provincial minister.

Appeal to court

229   (1) A decision of the Provincial minister under section 228 (4) in respect of an appeal to the Provincial minister under section 228 (1) may be appealed to the Supreme Court by way of a petition proceeding.

(2) The Supreme Court Civil Rules relating to petition proceedings, other than Rule 18-3, apply to appeals under this section.

(3) A petition must be filed in the court registry within 90 days after the date of the Provincial minister's decision.

(4) In a petition filed under this section, the government must be designated "Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of British Columbia".

(5) Within 14 days after the filing of a petition under this section, the petition must be served on the government in accordance with section 8 of the Crown Proceeding Act.

(6) An appeal under this section is a new hearing that is not limited to the evidence and issues that were before the Provincial minister.

(7) The court may

(a) dismiss the appeal,

(b) allow the appeal,

(c) vary the decision from which the appeal is made, or

(d) refer the decision back to the commissioner for reconsideration.

(8) An appeal lies from a decision of the court to the Court of Appeal with leave of a justice of the Court of Appeal.

Irregularities

230   A determination made under this Part must not be varied or disallowed by a court because of an irregularity, informality, omission or error on the part of a person in the observation of any directory provision up to the date of the notice of determination.

Individual to repay amount

231   If it appears from an inspection, audit, examination or investigation or from other information available to the commissioner that an amount has been paid under this Part to an individual who is not entitled to receive that amount, the amount paid is deemed to be an amount that became payable by the individual to the government on the day on which the amount was paid to the individual.

Liability for amounts owing to government

232   An individual is liable to pay to the government the following:

(a) the amount that was paid to the individual under this Part if the individual is not entitled to receive that amount;

(b) the amount of any penalties imposed on the individual under section 222 [imposition of administrative penalty];

(c) the amount of any interest payable by the individual to the government under this Part.

Collection of amounts owing to government

233   Part 5 [Recovery of Amounts Owing] of the Employer Health Tax Act applies for the purpose of collecting an amount that is owing to the government under this Part.

Powers of audit

234   Without limiting any provision of this Act or the federal Act, for the purpose of determining eligibility for the tax credit under this Part, the commissioner has powers equivalent to the federal minister under sections 231 to 231.5 and 231.7 of the federal Act, and for that purpose those sections apply.

Delegation of powers

235   (1) The commissioner may authorize any other officer of the ministry to perform and exercise duties imposed and powers conferred on the commissioner by this Part as may in the commissioner's opinion be conveniently performed or exercised by that officer.

(2) The performance or exercise by the officer authorized under subsection (1) of the duties or powers referred to in that subsection is of the same effect as if the duties or powers were performed or exercised by the commissioner.

Application of other provisions

236   (1) A tax credit under this Part is not to be considered in applying any of the following provisions:

(a) section 31 [instalment payments: farmers and fishers];

(b) section 32 [instalment payments: other individuals];

(c) section 34 [returns, payments and interest];

(d) section 35 [refund for tax credits];

(e) section 36 [amount on which instalment calculated];

(f) section 37 [failure to file return or corporate return and failure to provide information];

(g) section 39 [penalty for late or deficient instalments];

(h) section 39.1 [misrepresentation of tax matter by third party];

(i) section 40 [refunds].

(2) The following provisions do not apply for the purposes of this Part, except to the extent provided in this Part:

(a) section 1 (8.1) [interpretation];

(b) section 29 [returns of income and assessments of tax];

(c) section 30 [reassessment and amended return];

(d) section 38 [failure to report income, false statement or omission and burden of proof on appeal];

(e) section 41 [objections to assessments and extension of time];

(f) section 42 [appeal by taxpayer];

(g) section 43 [reply];

(h) section 44 [procedure];

(i) section 45 [irregularities, extension of time and private hearings];

(j) section 46 [court practice];

(k) section 47 [administration, interest, garnishment and proceedings to collect];

(l) section 49 [debts to Her Majesty];

(m) section 50 [certificates];

(n) section 51 [warrant];

(o) section 52 [acquisition of debtor's property];

(p) section 53 [payment of money seized from tax debtor];

(q) section 54 [seizure of goods];

(r) section 55 [taxpayer leaving Canada or defaulting];

(s) section 59 [inspections, privilege, information returns and corporate execution];

(t) section 61 [offence and penalty];

(u) section 62 [further offences];

(v) section 70 [payments on account].

Administration

237   (1) Despite any collection agreement, the Provincial minister must administer and enforce this Part.

(2) Despite section 69 (3) [collection agreement], the federal minister is not authorized to use, perform or exercise any of the powers, duties or discretions of the Provincial minister under this Part.

Power to make regulations

238   (1) Without limiting section 48 (1) and (2) [power to make regulations], the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing assistance programs, periods and reasons for the purposes of section 215 (1) (c);

(b) prescribing Acts for the purposes of section 221 (b);

(c) prescribing interest rates and the manner of calculating interest for the purposes of this Part;

(d) defining a word or expression used but not defined in this Part.

(2) In making regulations under subsection (1) (a), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe different periods for different prescribed assistance programs.

(3) A regulation made under this section may be made retroactive to May 1, 2020 or a later date, and if made retroactive is deemed to have come into force on the specified date.

Repeal by regulation

239   After December 31, 2023, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may repeal this Part by regulation.

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