Questions about your T4A? Here’s what you need to know
March 10, 2021
Canada Revenue Agency
Since the beginning of January, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been issuing T4A slips to individuals who received COVID-19 emergency and recovery benefits from the CRA in 2020. These benefits are taxable, and the information on T4As is needed when individuals are filing their taxes this year.
As these slips continue to be issued, individuals are reminded to read all communications from the CRA. Some of this correspondence requires action, and ignoring it could result in the recipient not receiving benefit or credit payments they are entitled to. The CRA provides helpful tips for individuals to recognize legitimate communications.
The CRA remains committed to putting people first and providing the support Canadians need during this tax season like no other. To that end, the CRA is providing these tips to individuals who have questions about their T4As.
When should you receive your T4A?
Most individuals who received COVID-19 emergency and recovery benefits from the CRA should have their T4A by now and they are encouraged to file their 2020 income tax and benefit return as soon as they can. Those who received these payments and are still waiting for their T4A may be able to get a copy through their My Account or by contacting the CRA. Individuals should also check to see if they received other tax slips. For example, if someone received emergency benefits from Service Canada, they will get a T4E slip.
If you are expecting a slip and do not want to wait to file your return, use information you have on hand to estimate the income you received, and any income tax withheld from COVID-19 emergency and recovery benefit payments, and file using that information.
What if there is a mistake with the amounts reflected on your T4A?
A small number of individuals may notice that their T4A does not reflect the payments they actually received. Perhaps they repaid an amount in 2020, and it is not reflected on the slip, or they have not made a repayment but the income reported on the slip has been reduced by some other amount. Some others who did not apply for COVID-19 emergency and recovery benefits may get a T4A. These matters require prompt attention and these individuals should contact the CRA.
What should you do if you’ve already contacted the CRA about a mistake on your T4A?
CRA agents are prioritizing the resolution of issues with individuals’ T4As. If you have spoken with an agent about your issue, rest assured that it is being addressed and you will be contacted by the CRA shortly.
The CRA recognizes that waiting for a response in these situations can be stressful, and aims to resolve such issues quickly. Resolving them is a challenge in some cases, and agents are addressing cases as fast as possible. Unfortunately, calling the CRA again cannot accelerate the process.
Once the issue has been resolved, an amended slip will be issued. Beginning March 10th, individuals can periodically check My Account to see if the amended slip has been issued.
What if you have to contact the CRA about your T4A but can’t get through to an agent?
During this tax season, the CRA continues to receive a large volume of calls. Unfortunately, this means callers may experience longer than usual wait times. Agents are working hard to answer calls as fast as possible so as to deliver services that Canadians expect from the CRA.
The CRA understands that waiting to get through in these situations can be stressful and is investing heavily in adding more call centre agents and expanding the call centres’ hours of operation. The Individual tax enquiries line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, local time, and Saturday 9am to 5pm, local time (except Easter weekend). These improvements will make it easier for individuals who need to discuss their T4A to reach an agent.
Should you file your 2020 income tax and benefit return if you are waiting for the CRA to resolve an issue with the T4A you received?
Yes. The CRA encourages everyone to file by the deadline. This will ensure there are no interruptions to benefit or credit payments, and helps taxpayers avoid late-filing penalties.
Individuals can use information they have on hand to estimate the income they received, and any income tax withheld from COVID-19 emergency and recovery benefit payments, and file using that information. If needed, the CRA will reassess these returns after the T4A is corrected and an amended or canceled T4A is issued.
Once certain individuals file their 2020 income tax and benefit return, they may not be required to pay interest on any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year until April 30, 2022. In addition, the CRA has the discretion to cancel penalties and interest that have been charged to their account if they are unable to meet their tax obligations due to extraordinary circumstances.
- The T4A resembles the T4 slips Canadians are used to receiving from their employers, but rather than employment income, they provide the amounts of COVID-19 benefits received from the CRA in 2020. Residents of Quebec will receive both a T4A and a RL-1 slip.
- Those who are registered for My Account, use the Auto-fill my return service, and file with NETFILE-certified software could have information from their T4A slip automatically entered into their return.
- Quebec residents with questions about their RL-1 should contact Revenu Québec.
- After filing a return, individuals should keep their slips, and all tax documents, for at least six years.
- For more information, visit T4A: Report COVID-19 amounts.
Canada Revenue Agency
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