Filing Information Returns Electronically (T4/T5 and other types of returns) - How to file

  1. Overview
  2. What you should know before
  3. How to file
  4. How to amend

3. How to file

File by Internet file transfer (XML)

If you use commercial software, it will automatically create your .xml file. Go directly to step 5.

If you do not use your own software, you have to create your own .xml file. Your file name must have the extension .xml.

Important: An .xml file created with Web Forms or a PDF document saved as an .xml will NOT pass validations through Internet file transfer.

Note: We do not accept returns filed on magnetic tapes, CDs, DVDs, USB keys, or diskettes.

Step 1: Get the XML specifications

If you are going to create your own software, you need the XML specifications to file an information return. To get a list of the specifications you need for each different type of return, go to Find XML specifications to file electronically.

You must include a T619, Electronic Transmittal record along with one of the return types to create a complete submission.

Step 2: Download the CRA schema

The XML schema defines the building blocks of an .xml file. The schemas are in .xsd format.

Schema for filing information returns

To file information returns in 2023, download the xmlschm1-23-1 file.
(version 1-23-1, last updated October 7, 2022)

To file information returns in 2024, download the xmlschm1-24-1 file.
(version 1-24-1, last updated October 5, 2023)

After you save the .zip file on your computer, use an extracting software (for example WinZip) to extract the .xsd files. You have to extract and save all files to one location on your hard drive.

Step 3: Create and save your file

Create your .xml file using the specifications for the information return you are filing. Save your .xml file on your computer. Name your file with extension .xml. Note the location.

Important: An .xml file created with Web Forms or PDF document saved as .xml will NOT pass validations through Internet file transfer.

Step 4: Validate your file

To validate your file, check both the format and content of an .xml file against our schema files using a validating parser. You can download validating parsers from the Internet. The software is not provided or supported by the CRA. If you have questions, ask the software companies that created the validating parser.

  1. Launch the validating parser
  2. Include in the parser the path to the schema files you saved
  3. Follow the instructions in the parser to locate and open your .xml file
  4. Correct all errors the parser finds and re-validate
  5. Send new corrected file to CRA.

Step 5: Use the Internet file transfer (XML) application

To use the Internet file transfer (XML) application, log in using

Start Internet file transfer (XML)

File using Web Forms

Web Forms is ideal for smaller returns, up to 100 slips:

Use the Web Forms application to

To use Web Forms, log in using:

Start Web Forms

Other methods of electronic filing:

My Business Account is a secure, password protected portal, that allows you to file information returns electronically through Internet file transfer and Web forms.

Represent a Client is a secure service to access tax information and file information returns electronically on behalf of individuals and businesses, including your employer.

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