T4 information return

Filing due date

In all instances, you have to file your T4 information return on or before the last day of February following the calendar year that the information return applies to. If the due date falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, your return is due the next business day.

We consider your return to be filed on time if we receive it or it is postmarked on or before the due date. If you fail to file it on time, we may assess a penalty.

If you have more than one payroll program account, you will have to file a separate information return for each account.

If you need to file early due to bankruptcy or if your business stops operating, you are required to file within 30 days from the date your business ends.

If the owner of a business dies, the T4 slips and T4 Summary have to be filed within 90 days from the date of death.

Filing methods

You must file information returns by Internet if you file more than 50 information returns (slips) for a calendar year. For more information, go to Filing Information Returns Electronically (T4/T5 and other types of returns).

Filing on paper – 1 to 50 slips

If you file 1 to 50 slips, we strongly encourage you to file over the Internet using Internet file transfer (XML) or Web Forms. However, you can file up to 50 slips on paper.

If you need more paper copies, you can order a maximum of 50 single-page slips at forms and publications or by calling 1-800-959-5525. There are two slips per page intended for printers, for typing or to be filled out by hand.

If you choose to file your return on paper, mail it to:

     Ottawa Technology Centre
     875 Heron Road
     Ottawa ON  K1A 1G9

Fill out one copy of the T4 slip for each employee and include it with your T4 Summary when you file. Enter the information for two different employees on one sheet. You must keep the information from the T4 slips and the T4 Summary or a copy of these forms for your files.

Filing electronically

If you have or want to file electronically, read Filing Information Returns Electronically (T4/T5 and other types of returns).

Balance due

A remittance that was due in January of the current year for deductions made in December of the previous year is considered late when paid with the previous year's information return (T4 or T4A) and this return is filed after the remittance due date. The CRA can assess a penalty and interest on late remittances.

Whether you file electronically or file a paper return, you can make your payment in several different ways. For more information, go to Make a payment to the Canada Revenue Agency or see Remitting source deductions.

Regardless of your filing method, if you are a threshold 2 accelerated remitter, you must remit any balance due electronically or in person at your Canadian financial institution.

We will charge you a fee for any payment that your Financial institution refuses to process. If your payment is late, we can also charge you a penalty and interest on any amount you owe.

Service bureaus and branch offices filing returns

If a service bureau is filing an information return for you, you are still responsible for the accuracy of the information, for any balance owing, and for filing on time.

If the branch office of a company has sent in CPP contributions, EI premiums, and income tax deductions under a separate account that only that branch uses, file the T4 information return of that branch as a separate return.

What happens after you file?

When we receive your information return, we check it to see if you have prepared it correctly. After an initial review, we enter your return into our processing system, which captures the information and performs various validity and balancing checks. If there are any problems, we may contact you.

We also verify the calculations you made on the T4 slips to make sure that the pensionable and insurable earnings you reported agree with the CPP and EI deductions you remitted. If you receive a pensionable and insurable earnings review (PIER) report, do not send us amended slips. Instead, respond to the PIER advising of the changes required for the employees on the listing. For more information, go to Pensionable and insurable earnings review (PIER).

After filing your information return, you may notice that you made an error on a T4 slip. If so, you will have to prepare an amended slip to correct the information. For information, go to Amending, cancelling, adding, or replacing T4 slips.

Other federal government departments use T4 information. For example, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) uses the information on the T4 slip to update a person’s record of earnings file. The information on CPP contributions that we send to ESDC determines the CPP benefits that a person will receive.

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