Businesses: Beginning January 1, 2024, if you file six or more information returns you must file them electronically to avoid penalties
August 16, 2023
Canada Revenue Agency
Recent legislation has amended mandatory electronic filing thresholds. Beginning January 1, 2024, businesses filing six or more information returns (slips and summaries) must file electronically. This removes the clause that allowed a filer with 50 or fewer information returns to file by paper. Businesses filing five or fewer information returns can still choose to file by paper.
Examples of information returns include the T4 payroll return (renumeration paid), T5 (investment income), T3 (trust income) and T4A (pension and other income return).
Benefits to filing online
Electronic filing has many benefits over paper processing. It saves businesses time and money since recipients can confirm their tax information earlier and receive refunds and credits much faster. It’s also safer and more reliable because data flows seamlessly over secure networks. Paper processing, on the other hand, is vulnerable to human error and disruptions.
For both business and individual accounts, electronic filing offers:
- convenience and ease
- faster processing times
- quicker communication for errors and discrepancies
- earlier confirmations for tax information
- faster refunds and credits
How to file electronically
The CRA offers many digital services, such as secure portals like My Business Account, mobile apps, and additional services for businesses to easily manage their tax affairs.
If you have a web access code, here are some options:
- Web Forms: An application that is ideal for smaller returns, up to 100 slips
- Internet file transfer (XML): An application to use payroll, commercial, or in-house developed software, to submit an XML file of up to 150 MB over the Internet
If you do not have a web access code, the following can be used:
- My Business Account: A portal that allows business owners (including partners, directors, and officers) access to their GST/HST, payroll, corporation income taxes, excise taxes, excise duties, and other levies accounts online
- Represent a Client: A portal that allows representatives to access tax information on behalf of individuals and businesses, including their employer
Reminder: As you make any kind of changes to your business, you might have questions and need information and guidance from the CRA. We can help. The Resources for Small and Medium businesses web page provides direct access to tax-related services and information for businesses. The Liaison Officer service is also available to small business owners and self-employed individuals who need help understanding their tax obligations.
A note on penalties
There are currently mandatory electronic filing penalties to businesses that file paper returns for over 50 slips. There will be a $125 penalty introduced starting January 1, 2024 to businesses who file paper returns in the 6-50 range.
|Penalty based on the number of information returns (slips)||Penalty|
|6 to 50 Returns filed on or after January 1, 2024||$125|
|51 to 250||$250|
|251 to 500||$500|
|501 to 2,500||$1,500|
|2,501 or more||$2,500|
The CRA is dedicated to supporting businesses of all sizes, including small businesses, and will continue to try to make it easier for them to manage their tax affairs as they go through changes like this one.
Canada Revenue Agency
- Date modified: