In 2020, the Canada Revenue Agency issued an extra “emergency” GST cheque to eligible Canadians. If you were eligible for quarterly GST cheques, then you should have received this $400 extra in April. By now, the cheques have been mailed out. But if you haven’t received one yet, you may still be able to. There’s one specific situation where you can still get the $400 GST cheque if you haven’t already. To know whether you can, you just have to ask yourself one question:
“Have I filed my 2018 taxes yet?”
If you think you’re eligible for the $400 emergency GST payment but haven’t received it yet, you should look into whether you filed your 2018 taxes. The refund goes off of your 2018 base tax year income. That means that if you haven’t filed your 2018 taxes, you may still be able to get the credit. To get it, you’ll want to start filing your 2018 taxes right away. If you’re this late filing your taxes, you’ll likely have to pay some penalties that will eat into your $400 cheque. But if you were below the income threshold, you should get the cheque regardless.
Not eligible? there are other ways to get paid
Even if you have yet to file your 2018 taxes, you may not get the CRA’s $400 GST cheque after you file. One primary reason you could be denied the cheque is if you earn too much money. GST cheques are only paid to those below a certain income threshold (typically around $50,000), so if you earned above that amount, you won’t get the cheque.
Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t get an extra $400 in 2020.
There are plenty of ways to give yourself a bit of extra passive income — some of the best ones don’t depend on government benefits.
Investing is an example. By investing in dividend stocks, you can cut yourself a $400 cheque that you receive every single quarter, as opposed to just once. And if you hold your stocks in a TFSA, all the income will be tax free.
A great stock for doing this is Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY). At today’s prices, the stock yields about 4%. That means that, if you invest $40,000 in Royal Bank stock, you get $1,600 in annual cash income. That works out to $400 — the value of the 2020 GST bonus — every single quarter! The amount of money you need to invest in Royal Bank stock to get that income stream going isn’t even a whole lot. And if you realize capital gains by investing in RY shares, you can get an even bigger return than you get with dividends.
This just goes to show that, through efficient tax planning, you can realize cash money far bigger than what the CRA will pay you in benefits. All it takes is a TFSA, a bit of savings, and a quality dividend stock like Royal Bank of Canada. Talk about a win-win.
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Fool contributor Andrew Button has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.