Are you wondering if you have to pay taxes on your CPP disability benefits? How can you avoid getting stuck owing a huge amount of money?
Have no fear — Mikayla is here! I’m not a tax accountant but I will do my best to help answer these tricky tax questions. If you still are confused and need more information, please reach out to a local tax accountant.
This article is part of our Ultimate Guide to CPP Disability Benefits.
Do I have to pay taxes on CPP disability benefits?
Yes, the CPP disability benefit is taxable income — the monthly payments and the retroactive benefits. This means you could owe money on your next tax return.
If you think you may have taxes to pay, you might want to consider putting some extra money away to cover that when it comes up. There are some things you can do to reduce the taxes and prevent any big tax bills — keep reading to find out!
Can I have Service Canada deduct taxes from my monthly payments?
Yes! You can either send Service Canada a written request or phone in to specify the amount that you would like to have withheld every month.
What do I do when I get my T4A(P) slip?
You’re going to want to report the full amount of the CPP benefits, including the amount paid for previous years, on line 114 of your tax return. When you include this number on line 114, the Canada Revenue Agency will automatically check to see if it’s beneficial for it to be spread out over the years.
What can I do to reduce the amount of taxes owed?
- If you are receiving a large retroactive payment, you can have the lump sum spread over 2 or more taxation years as mentioned above — this way, you pay less each year
- You can apply for the Disability Tax Credit
- You may owe less if you paid tax on long-term disability payments for the same months covered by retroactive payment (see #5, below)
This is quite a common question we receive. The CPP retroactive payment is always taxable income — if you receive it or if it’s paid directly to your insurance company. Some people are not aware of how much you could end up owing in taxes if you don’t take the steps to reduce it.
Let’s say you receive $18,000 for your retroactive payment, and that this payment goes back 3 years. You would want to spread this payment out over 3 tax years instead of receiving it all in one. You can do this by asking Revenue Canada to spread the payments out over the years you would have received the money. Keep the letter from Service Canada that shows the years and amounts that this retroactive sum covers.
So, instead of receiving a lump sum of $18,000 in one tax year and being taxed on the entire amount, it would look like you had received $6,000 for three consecutive tax years. For the most part, this works as you’d expect. The CRA will then review your past years based on the new income; you may or may not owe taxes, but if you do, they will likely be less than having the full amount in one year.
Additionally, you can call Service Canada, CRA, and any low-income support programs you are a part of and explain the situation. Some programs that use tax info can cut you off automatically if you can’t address what your income will be for that year. It’s best to keep them informed of your situation so they don’t jump to conclusions.
How is CPP disability tax handled when you also get long-term disability insurance payments?
This situation can get complicated and stressful. How you are taxed for your CPP disability benefit partially depends on the status of your LTD payments.
Tax issues can come up when some or all the CPP retroactive payment goes to an insurer as reimbursement for past disability insurance payments. This is known as a long-term disability overpayment. You can read more about
It usually plays out in one of two ways:
Situation 1: You paid tax on the LTD benefits
If your LTD benefits were taxable, then the CPP benefit paid to the insurer will not be taxed. When issuing your annual T4A for LTD benefits, your insurer will include the reimbursement as an offset — a deduction against income on your T4A. This reduces your taxable income by the same amount.
If your insurer doesn’t adjust the T4A to include the reimbursement, then you can still claim it as a deduction on line 232 of your individual tax return. You can’t claim a deduction twice, so be careful not to include it on line 232 if it appears on your T4A from the insurer.
Consult a tax accountant for more detailed information and expert advice on this.
Situation 2: You didn’t pay tax on the LTD benefits
This situation becomes a bit more complicated and more issues may arise. Your insurance company won’t issue a T4A, and you can’t claim the retroactive pay as a deduction. Revenue Canada will tax the retroactive payment — but you can reduce the burden this may cause (see #4, above).
If you are still confused and seeking more insight, we recommend first speaking to your local tax accountant.
If you are in need of help getting approved for CPP disability benefits or long-term disability from an insurance company, you can call us toll-free at 888-732-0470 or schedule a free consultation online to speak with a member of our disability support team.