Filing Information Returns Electronically (T4/T5 and other types of returns) – What you should know before

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

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

Filing due dates for type of 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.
NR4

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:

  • for mutual fund trusts that filed an election to have a tax year end of December 15 and the pre-LRE year-end is after December 15 of that calendar year, the NR4 return must be filed within 90 days of that December 15 tax year-end; and
  • in any other case, the NR4 return must be filed within 90 days of the end of the calendar year the pre-LRE year-end is in.

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.

Penalty by number of information returns (slips)
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 2018 will be listed in the last column when they become available.

Electronic filing options by return type
Type of return File using Internet file transfer File using Web Forms Amend using Internet file transfer Amend using Web Forms 2018
AGR-1, Statement of Farm-Support Payments Yes       Yes
NR4, Statement of Amounts Paid or Credited to Non-Residents of Canada Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 
T3, Statement of Trust Income Allocations and Designations Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T3ATH-IND, Amateur Athlete Trust Income Tax Return Yes   Yes   Yes
T3 RET, T3 Trust Income Tax and Information Return Yes        Yes
T3D, Income Tax Return for Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP) or Revoked DPSP Yes   Yes   Yes
T3GR, Group Income Tax and Information Return for RRSP, RRIF, RESP, or RDSP Trusts Yes   Yes   Yes
T3M, Environmental Trust Income Tax Return Yes   Yes   Yes
T3P, Employees' Pension Plan Income Tax Return Yes   Yes   Yes
T3PRP, T3 Pooled Registered Pension Plan Tax Return Yes   yes   Yes
T3RI, Registered Investment Income Tax Return Yes   Yes   Yes
T3S, Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Plan Income Tax Return Yes   Yes   Yes
T4, Statement of Remuneration Paid Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T4A, Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T4A-NR, Statement of Fees, Commissions, or Other Amounts Paid to Non-Residents for Services Rendered in Canada Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T1204, Government Service Contract Payments Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T4RIF, Statement of Income From a Registered Retirement Income Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T4RSP, Statement of Registered Retirement Savings Plan Income Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T5, Statement of Investment Income Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T5007, Statement of Benefits Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T5008, Statement of Securities Transactions Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T5018, Statement of Contract Payments Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T4A(OAS), Statement of Old Age Security Yes   Yes   Yes
T4A(P), Statement of Canada Pension/Quebec Pension Plan Benefits Yes   Yes   Yes
T4E, Statement of Employment Insurance Benefits Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SAFER, Manitoba Shelter Allowance for Elderly Renters (Rent Assist) Yes       Yes
RC364-CA, Application to Register a Plan as a Pooled Registered Pension Plan Yes Yes     Yes 
RC365-CA Pooled Registered Pension Plan Amendment Information Yes Yes     Yes 
RRSP, Contribution Receipt Filing Yes Yes Yes Yes  Yes
T215, Exempt from Certification Past Service Pension Adjustment (PSPA) Yes   Yes   Yes
T244, Registered Pension Plan Annual Information Return Yes Yes     Yes
TFSA, Tax Free Savings Account Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
T1061, Canadian Amateur Athletic Trust Group Information Return Yes   Yes   Yes
T5013, FIN Partnership Financial Return Yes   Yes   Yes
T5013, Partnership Information Return Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pooled Registered Pension Plan Information Return Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
RRSP and RRIF, Non-Qualified Investments Information Return Yes   Yes   Yes
Part XVIII Information Return, International Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Part XIX Information Return – International Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
T550, Application for Registration of RSP's, ESP's or RIF's Under Section 146, 146.1 and 146.3 of the Income Tax Act Yes   Yes   Yes
Worksheet T2000, Calculation of Tax on Agreements to Acquire Shares (Section 207.1(5) of the Income Tax Act) Yes   Yes   Yes

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:

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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