Electronic Distribution of T4 slips
Notice to the reader
This measure has received Royal Assent.
Generally, an employer needs to issue a T4, Statement of remuneration paid, information slip by the last day in February following the calendar year in which the employer pays an employee any remuneration such as employment income, commissions, taxable benefits or allowances. Unless consent has been received from the employee to receive an electronic version of the T4 slip, two paper copies of the slip must be provided by the employer. Budget 2017 proposes that for T4 slips that are required to be filed for 2017 and subsequent taxation years, an employer can generally issue them electronically to an employee provided the employer meets the criteria specified by the Minister of National Revenue.
1. What is the current requirement to issue T4 slips to employees?
Currently, an employer has to give each employee a T4 slip in one of the following ways:
- one copy sent electronically (for example, by email or secure employee portal), but only if the employer has the employee's consent, in writing or in electronic format, to send their T4 slips electronically;
- two paper copies delivered in person; or
- two paper copies sent by mail to the employee's last known address.
2. How is the requirement changing?
Budget 2017 proposes that for T4 slips that are required to be filed for 2017 and subsequent taxation years, an employer can generally issue them electronically to an employee without having to obtain consent from the employee in advance, provided the employer meets the criteria specified by the Minister of National Revenue.
3. What are the criteria specified by the Minister of National Revenue that must be met for the employer to issue T4 slips electronically under the new rules?
The employer can issue T4 slips electronically without the employee’s consent, if the employer provides to the employee, by the last day in February following the calendar year to which the slip applies:
- a secure electronic portal through which the employee can obtain access their T4 slip,
- a secure site for printing the T4 slip, and
- an option to receive paper copies of the T4 slip, upon request.
Note: Additional criteria may be added and will be provided on the CRA website.
4. Under what circumstances will an employer have to provide an employee with a paper copy of the T4 slip under the new rules?
An employer has to provide two paper copies of the T4 slip to an employee when:
- the employer does not satisfy one or more of the conditions listed above, unless consent has already been obtained from the employee in respect of the T4 slip;
- the employee has requested the T4 slip be provided in paper format;
- at the time the T4 slip is issued the employee is on an extended leave or is no longer an employee of that employer; or
- the employee cannot reasonably be expected to have access to obtain the T4 slip electronically .
5. Can a payer issue any other information slips electronically to a payee without having the payee’s consent?
No, this change only applies to T4 slips issued to employees. For example, this measure does not apply to a T4A, Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income.
6. Can an employer issue the T4 slip by email under the new rules?
No. The T4 slip contains sensitive taxpayer information and general email communication does not contain sufficient security features to be permitted under the new rules when consent is not provided by the employee.
7. Where can I get more information?
The CRA is committed to providing taxpayers with up-to-date information. The CRA encourages taxpayers to check its webpages for any updates. All new forms, policies and guidelines will be posted as they become available. In the meantime, please consult the Department of Finance Budget 2017 documents for details.
More information on when you have to complete T4 slip and what to report on a T4 slip is available on the CRA webpage T4 Slip.
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