WARNING: The CRA Can Take Back Your $2,000/Month CERB Payments!

You’ve been warned! Don’t be complacent with the $2,000/Month CERB payments. Do this to secure income that’s yours to keep!

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To get the needed $2,000/month swiftly to Canadians affected by COVID-19, the CRA has loosely approved Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) applications.

However, the CRA is aware of people who have been working throughout the COVID-19 period but still got approvals for their CERB applications.

There are other cases as well. For example, Canadians can’t receive CERB money while being rehired from the federal government’s wage-subsidy program. These people will have to pay back one or the other.

Some Canadians will therefore have to return the $2,000/month from the CERB when tax-reporting time comes next year, as it will take time for CRA to check who wasn’t eligible.

Here are some surefire ways to get payments you don’t have to give back. If you hold the dividend stocks in your TFSA, you won’t even have to pay any taxes!

Receive safe dividends from solid utilities

Utilities provide essential products and services throughout economic cycles. Even during the COVID-19 triggered recession right now, people and businesses still need to use electricity and gas. Therefore, there will be minimal impact on utilities’ revenues and earnings.

Fortis is a regulated utility with 10 stable utility operations across North America, including high-quality electric transmission operations in nine states. In fact, approximately 93% of its predictable portfolio is transmission and distribution.

The utility estimates near-term impacts of only 18% on its revenues during the COVID-19 period. The stock dipped about 13% from its 2020 high, making it fairly valued for investors seeking robust dividend income.

Fortis stock provides a safe income, a yield of nearly 3.8% that’s protected by a payout ratio of roughly 74%.

A bigger yield utility

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (TSX:BIP.UN)(NYSE:BIP) is a global utility that investors should consider as well. Its assets are long-life cash cows, allowing it to start investors off with a juicy yield of close to 5%.

Notably, a stronger greenback against the loonie lifted that yield, as the dividend stock pays out a U.S. dollar-denominated distribution.

The utility has near-term COVID-19 impacts in its port and toll road operations. It’s also negatively impacted by foreign currency depreciation, particularly in the lower Brazilian Real.

However, in Q1, Brookfield Infrastructure’s overall portfolio still saw decent organic growth of 6% as well as an earnings boost from its US$1.6 billion of capital deployed during the past year.

At any point in time, it’s able to invest in the best risk-adjusted returns thanks to owning and operating a diversified portfolio across multiple continents and industries.

Notably, Brookfield Infrastructure Corporation trades with the ticker “BIPC” on the TSX and NYSE. It’s an economic equivalent security to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and offers the same dividend.

However, because of its preferred structure that pays an eligible dividend, BIPC trades at a premium of roughly 12%. As a result, BIPC offers a lower yield of 4.4%.

Get monthly payments from REITs

Many real estate investment trusts (REITs) pay out substantial annual income. A prime example is NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT.

NorthWest Healthcare is a property owner of hospitals, healthcare facilities, and medical office buildings. Moreover, it has a stably high portfolio occupancy of more than 97%.

The REIT generates consistent cash flows from long-term leases averaging 14 years until expiration. It pays out a high yield of 8.3%, which is divided across 12 equal monthly cash distributions.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Kay Ng owns shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield Infrastructure Corp. The Motley Fool recommends BROOKFIELD INFRA PARTNERS LP UNITS, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, and NORTHWEST HEALTHCARE PPTYS REIT UNITS.

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