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CRA watchdog revises down number of complaints about pandemic benefit repayments

Canadian Taxpayers' Ombudsperson François Boileau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Canadian Taxpayers' Ombudsperson François Boileau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The office of Canada's taxpayers' ombudsperson says it has received fewer complaints than it initially thought from Canadians being asked to repay a pandemic benefit debt they already had settled.

François Boileau's office previously said it had received dozens of complaints from Canadians who claimed the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) was still asking them to repay pandemic-era benefits they've already paid back.

In July, Boileau's office said it had received nearly 60 such complaints since the end of April.

A spokesperson for the office reached out to CBC News on Monday to say that many of those complaints didn't in fact relate to a pandemic benefit debt that already had been repaid, but rather dealt with the collection of pandemic benefit debts more generally.

The spokesperson said the office has received roughly 20 such complaints about paid pandemic benefit debts since April.

Boileau's office is still making its way through a pile of related complaints. The ombudsperson's website says it is now addressing complaints received in August.