Filing Information Returns Electronically (T4/T5 and other types of returns) – What you should know before
2. What you should know before
What are the benefits of filing electronically?
Filing electronically lets you
- get confirmation within minutes
- file securely
- make changes
- allow another authorized source, such as a tax preparer, to file for you
- send returns for the previous ten years
Find the filing due date for your information return
|Type of information return||Filing due date|
|T4, T4A, T4A(OAS), T4A(P), T4A-NR, T4E, T4RSP, T4RIF, T5, T5007, T5008, AGR-1, TFSA||File by the last day of February following the calendar year to which the information return applies. If the last day of February is a Saturday or Sunday, your information return is due the next business day. If the business stops operating, the return is due within 30 days of the day your business or activity ends.|
|T3, T1061, T2000, T3ATH-IND, T3D, T3GR, T3M, T3P, T3PRP, T3RET, T3RI, T3S||File no later than 90 days after the end of the trust's tax year.|
|T1204||File by March 31 of the year following the calendar year to which the information return applies. If March 31 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, your return is due the next business day.|
|T5018||The T5018 return is due six months after the end of the reporting period you have chosen. If your business stops operating, you must file the information return within 30 days of the day your business ends.|
File by March 31 following the calendar year to which the information return applies or no later than 90 days after the end of the fiscal year for an estate or trust. If the last day of March falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a public holiday recognized by the CRA, your information return is due the next business day.
Loss restriction event
Under proposed legislation, a tax year of a trust or an estate may end early because of a loss restriction event. The CRA calls this a "pre-LRE year-end." When the pre-LRE year-end is in the same calendar year as the trust's or the estate's ordinary tax year-end, the NR4 return must be filed within 90 days of the trust's or the estate's ordinary tax year-end.
When the pre-LRE year-end is not in the same calendar year as the trust's or the estate's ordinary tax year-end, there are two scenarios:
It is proposed that these new rules be considered to have come into effect on March 21, 2013. For more information about loss restriction events, see "Loss trading – Rules for trusts" in Guide T4013, T3 Trust Guide.
|RRSP Contribution Information Return, Pooled Registered Pension Plan Information Return
||File by May 1 of the year in which the contribution year ends. The contribution year is the period beginning on the 61st day of one year and ending on the 60th day of the following year.|
|Part XVIII, Part XIX||File by May 1 following the calendar year to which the information return applies. If May 1 is a Saturday or Sunday, your information return is due the next business day.|
What if you file your information return late?
If you file your information return past the due date you may be charged a penalty. To learn more, see late-filing penalties for information returns.
Will you be penalized if you do not file electronically?
The Canada Revenue Agency will begin charging penalties starting January 2016 if you do not file electronically.
Every information return is considered a slip. If you file more than 50 information returns (slips) for a calendar year and you do not file by Internet file transfer or Web Forms, you may be charged a penalty. The following table lists the penalties for not filing electronically.
|Number of information returns (slips)||Penalty|
|51 to 250||$250|
|251 to 500||$500|
|501 to 2,500||$1,500|
|2,501 or more||$2,500|
Find XML specifications to file electronically
The xml specifications assist you in creating your xml file by identifying what we can accept in the file. You only require the xml specifications if you are creating your own xml file.
You must include a T619, Electronic Transmittal record along with one of the following return types to create a complete submission.
The first column of the table has links to the XML specifications for year 2017.
New for 2018
An amendment reason explanation tag has been added at the Summary level for the following form types : T4, T4A ,T4A-NR, T4RSP, T4RIF, T4E, T4AP, T4OAS, T1204, PRPP, T5, T5007, T5008, T5013, T5018, T3, NR4, TFSA, RRSP. The tag is not mandatory and is intended to allow a filer to provide a brief explanation for the amendments within the file up to 1309 characters.
Links to the XML specifications for 2019 will be listed in the last column when they become available.
What you need to file your information return electronically
Before you file, have your documentation ready. You will also need your business number and Web access code.
What is a Web access code?
A Web access code is a personalized code that is associated with your account number. Your Web access code contains two letters and four numbers. It is case sensitive.
Where do you find your Web access code?
The Canada Revenue Agency no longer mails Web access codes.
If you do not remember your code or you need a code for a new account, you can:
- use our Web access code online service
- call business enquiries at 1-800-959-5525
What if you have a balance due?
When you make a payment to the Canada Revenue Agency, do not resubmit your return.
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