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CEWS and the CRA

What to do when the CRA calls you to confirm your entitlement for the CEWS?

My client received a call from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

She applied for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the CEWS, and the caller wanted to verify some information, starting with her date of birth.

Of course, my client panicked because this is confidential information and reeks of ‘scam’. She told the caller she will do some verification and that she will call her back. She asked for the caller’s name, agent number, contact information and the CRA’s contact information.

This is the right thing to do. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. No apologies there, everyone should be doing what should be done to protect one’s self and one’s identity. It takes a lot of unravelling to undo an identity that has been compromised.

She called me for help. We called the CRA. The wait was about 30 to 60 minutes. We were able to confirm that CRA indeed calls people for the CEWS.

Particularly, the CRA was able to confirm that a file was opened for my client and the agent was the one assigned. They are able to do this through the agent number.

The CRA may even be able to explain what particular information the agent wants from you.

After calling back the CRA agent, my client found that the agent wanted to verify the deposit information she entered on the CRA website. It seems the CRA, because of the covid, is also wary of scams, hence the additional verification. She asked my client some questions to confirm her identity and to confirm the deposit information and thanked her for her vigilance.

For general inquiries on the CEWS, you can call 1-833-966-2099, but for more case-specific inquiries (like confirming the identity of CRA agents), you can call 1-800-959-5525.

The wait time is long but verifying and finding out that you are talking to an actual agent from the CRA is well worth your time.

If you need any help for covid-related issues, call us at 604-630-2350 or send us an email.


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Melissa has 8+ years of combined Commercial, Business and Contract Law experience as In-House Counsel in manufacturing, health, real estate development, and broadcast communication industries. She is instrumental in developing strategies to minimize legal risk and ensure regulatory compliance.

She has 6+ years of Human Resources Management experience and a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation. Her practice includes Family Law, Civil Litigation, Wills & Estates and Real Estate & Conveyancing.

For fun, she visits ancient sites and ruins and belts out popular Broadway tunes.

northam law corporation

Northam Law is a boutique law firm offering advisory services in Real Estate Law and Conveyancing, Business Law, and Human Resources. Our practice areas also include Wills & Estates and Family Law. Notarization services are also available.

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