Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his questions.
I am pleased to inform the House of the progress we have made on overpayments. The government wanted to give priority to overpayments made to public servants in 2017, in order to avoid the problems that might arise from inaccurate T4s.
In a more general context, we know that we are trying the patience of public servants and the public in general. Again, I want to assure public servants and all Canadians who are watching that the government is assigning all the staff necessary to resolve the problems associated with the Phoenix pay system. We are of course working together with our employees and public service union partners. When the Phoenix pay system is stabilized, this will have been done for and by our public servants.
There is a window for the overpayments. If an overpayment made in 2017 is processed in January, the employee will receive a correct T4. If public servants report an overpayment or if they are identified by the system as having received an overpayment within this window, they will receive a correct T4. Otherwise, an amended T4 will automatically be sent to the Canada Revenue Agency, and the employee's tax return will automatically be updated. This makes it easier on the employee.
Unfortunately, as my colleague surely knows, deductions, such as the Quebec Pension Plan, the Canada Pension Plan, and employment insurance belong to the employee. Departments cannot collect or reclaim these deductions, which is why the gross amount must be paid back to the government.
We know there is a problem, and to fix it, we will only be asking employees to repay the overpayment as of July 1, 2018. Furthermore, there will be a reimbursement plan with very generous terms for employees to repay the money. Employees will have time to receive the refund of the taxes they are owed, and then to plan and budget the repayment.
We know that this is not ideal, which is why we wanted to focus on and prioritize the overpayments at the beginning of 2018. A large number of public servants have reported overpayments, but we had already identified some of them. We are making a lot of progress to prevent the problem my hon. colleague described.
I thank him for his comments. I would be happy to continue discussing potential solutions with him.