Mr. Speaker, the government has always had the backs of Canadians in their time of need, and Bill C-8 is another example of how we’re making life more affordable for Canadians. The CRA was unable to administer the tax credits in question without Bill C-8 achieving royal assent. Royal assent for Bill C-8 was delayed because of procedural delays during the bill’s various stages of study.
With regard to (a), regarding impacts of the aforementioned procedural delays, approximately 140,000 returns have been received with claims for the eligible educator school supply tax credit and the return of fuel charge proceeds to farmers tax credit pending royal assent.
With regard to (b), as of May 11, 2022, all tax returns are being held in abeyance within CRA systems. Once royal assent is received, it is expected that all of the 140,000 returns would be processed within a few days, with the exception of a very small percentage that might require further upfront validation.
With regard to part (c), as of May 11, 2022, as the returns have not been assessed, the CRA is unable to provide an answer in the manner requested. Once Bill C-8 for the eligible educator school supply tax credit and the return of fuel charge proceeds to farmers tax credit receives royal assent, the returns will be processed.
The CRA has a long-standing practice to encourage taxpayers and registrant taxpayers to comply with the introduction of proposed tax measures on the assumption that the legislation for these tax measures will be enacted. This practice is consistent with parliamentary convention, helps provide consistency and fairness in the tax treatment of taxpayers, and eases both the compliance burden on taxpayers and the administrative burden on the CRA.
When proposed legislation results in an increase to refundable credits or benefits such as the Canada child benefit, or CCB, the Canada workers benefit, or if a GST/HST rebate to the taxpayer or a significant rebate or refund is at stake, the CRA's practice is to wait until the legislation for that specific measure has been enacted before making any of these types of payments.
This cautious approach recognizes that although parliamentary convention dictates that taxation proposals are effective as soon as a Notice of Ways and Means Motion is tabled, there is no clear authority for the CRA to make these increased payments out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The term “invalid claim”, which appears in the question, is not a term used by the CRA in this context. Therefore, for the purposes of this question, the CRA has responded in respect of “returns received”.