Social Insurance Number Legislation that Relates to the Preparation of Information Slips

From: Canada Revenue Agency

                                                                  IC
SUBJECT:    SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER LEGISLATION THAT RELATES TO THE
            PREPARATION OF INFORMATION SLIPS

NO:   82-2R2                        DATE: November 20, 1992

REFERENCE:  Subsections 162(5), 162(6), 221(1), 237(1), 237(2) and
            239(2.3) as well as Parts II and XXXVIII of the Income Tax
            Regulations

This circular cancels and replaces Information Circular 82-2R, dated
February 28, 1990.

Introduction

1.  This information circular explains how, under the Income Tax Act,
information slip preparers have to ask for and report social insurance
numbers (SINs) on information slips. Information slip preparers are, by
law, responsible for preparing information slips even if agents of the
slip preparers actually prepare them. This circular also explains the
requirements for individuals (other than trusts) to supply their SIN.

Exemptions

2.  The SIN of children under 18 years old is not required if their
total annual income is expected to be $2,500 or less. Corporations and
partnerships have their own distinctive identification numbers. Trusts
under subsection 104(1) of the Act are exempt from the SIN
requirements.

Legislative Requirement

3.  Subsection 237(l) of the Act requires individuals who reside or are
employed in Canada to give their SIN, upon request, to their
information slip preparers.  Those people without a SIN have to apply
for one at the nearest Canada Employment Centre within 15 days of the
date their information slip preparers ask for it. When these persons
receive their SIN, they then have 15 days to give it to their
information slip preparers. Those people who do not do so can be

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charged a penalty of $100 for each failure, under subsection 162(6) of
the Act.

What do information slip preparers have to do?

4.  Subsection 237(2) of the Act requires information slip preparers to
make a reasonable effort to get the SIN of the clients for whom they
are preparing information slips. Preparers are also liable to a $100
penalty under subsection 162(5) of the Act each time they do not show a
SIN on an information slip, unless they make a reasonable effort to get
the SIN.

5.  Information slip preparers have to ask their clients to give their
SIN and other personal data, such as their name and address. This
request can take any form that is practical for the preparers.

6.  Information slip preparers have to ask for the SIN each time they
prepare an information return.

Special cases

Paragraphs 8 to 11 that follow do not apply to employers who prepare T4
or T4A information slips. Employers have to request a SIN from each
employee in all cases, and inform Revenue Canada, Taxation accordingly.

7.  For deceased persons, information slips are usually prepared in the
name of the estate, for example, "The estate of ...". The income that
has accumulated up to the date of death would normally be reported on
the final tax return. Therefore, preparers should report the SIN on the
information slips they are preparing for the year of the deceased
person's of death.

Information slips prepared for estates after the year the individuals
have died do not need a deceased's SIN. Neither do information slips
for funds distributed out of estates after the year of death.
Information slips for funds distributed out of estates need the SIN of
the beneficiaries. See paragraph 2 for exemptions.

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8. Parents often set up trust accounts into which they deposit funds
for their children. If the accounts qualify as trusts under
subsection 104(1) of the Income Tax Act, the law does not require a SIN
for the children (subsection 237(1)).

However, if there are no trust deeds and if the depositors can withdraw
the finds at any time, information slip preparers have to report the
children's SIN unless these children are under 18 years old and are
expected to have a annual income of $2,500 or less.

9. For joint beneficiaries, slip preparers have to enter the SIN of
only one of the beneficiaries. However, they should consult the
applicable guide fro instructions or whether to enter the names of all
beneficiaries in the recipient's name and address area.

Keeping records of requests

10. Information slip preparers should keep any documents they need to
prove they made a reasonable effort to get their clients' SIN. For
example, when they send a request by mail, the preparers should keep a
record of the date of the request, an example of the request form, and
the names of the people contacted (e.g., shareholders of record at the
date of the request, members of a co-operative or holders of deposit
accounts).

11. If clients do not respond to a SIN request, information slip
preparers should not delay filing the information returns after they
are due. If their clients' SIN are not available, information slip
preparers should leave the SIN area of the slip blank.

Use of SINs

12. An individual's SIN in the possession of Revenue Canada, Taxation,
is protected under the Privacy Act, as well as the confidentiality
provisions of the Income Tax Act.

13. Subsection 239(2.3) provides that any person who has to prepare an
information return cannot knowingly use, communicate, or allow an
individual's SIN to be communicated, other that as required or
authorized by law, or for a purpose for which it was provided by the
individual.

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