Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.
Care to help us start a rumor? 2009’s Terminator Salvation, the fourth installment in the killer robot franchise, was originally going to be called T4, but then Arnold Schwarzenegger nixed it because he didn’t want audiences to think it was an action flick starring Canadian tax slips.
What are T4 slips?
A T4 slip, or “Statement of Remuneration Paid,” is a tax form produced by an employer and furnished to both an employee, as well as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The form includes wages paid and taxes withheld, as well as assorted other information, such as amounts contributed to pension plans and employment insurance.
Right here on the CRA’s website, “T4 Statement of Remuneration Paid (slip),” you’ll find the T4’s official home. Along with your personal information, you’ll find scads of other financial information from a tax year on your T4 — the amount of your contributions to a registered pension plan (RPP), union dues you paid, and how much you contributed to Employment Insurance (EI), a Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), or a Québec Pension Plan (QPP). The CRA sets out all the particulars on this page here.
Who gets T4 slips?
Employers send T4s not only to you, the employee, they also provide identical copies to the CRA. Besides feelings of moral obligation, this is the big reason you really need to pay your taxes every year; you may feel invisible, but if you received a T4, the tax authorities know exactly how much you earned in any given year.
When do I receive my T4?
T4s are a pretty reliable bunch, arriving annually at the very beginning of March, a good eight weeks before tax day. If an employer mails in the slips, the T4s must be postmarked on the last day of February, or the employer will risk being assessed penalties.
The T4 is the king of the jungle in an ecosystem of hundreds of slips. Completists may enjoy spending hours reviewing the CRA’s “forms listed by number” page, but for brevity’s sake, we’ll acquaint you with a few of T4's more popular cousins. What do all these T-slips have in common? They’re statements of income and both you and the CRA receive copies.
T3: statement of trust income allocations and designations
T4A: statement of pension, retirement, annuity, or other income
T4A(P): statement of CPP/QPP benefits
T4A(OAS): statement of Old Age Security benefits
T4RSP: statement of Registered Retirement Savings Plan income
T4RIF: statement of income from a Registered Retirement Income Fund
T5: statement of investment income
What is a T4 summary?
T4 summary, also known as Summary of Remuneration Paid, is the one-page form filled out by employers and sent to the CRA that adds up the total dollar amounts of the T4 slips the company has provided for individual employees. An employer submits its T4 summary along with its T4 slips to the CRA.
What is line 15000 on the T1 tax return form?
Line 15000 on the T1 tax return form corresponds to your total income before deductions. The number on line 15000 can be calculated by adding the amounts found on lines 10100, 10400 to 13010, 13500 to 14300, and 14400 to 14700 on the tax return.
The most important boxes on the T4
We’re not big on playing favourites. We love all the boxes on the T4, and if you do too, check out the CRA’s guide that outlines the purpose of every box on the form.
But here are a select few T4 boxes that you’ll hear about quite a bit.
Box 14: employment income
Box 16/Box 17: employee’s CPP/QPP contributions
Box 18: employee’s EI premiums
Box 20: RPP contributions
Box 46: charitable donations
Box 85: employee-paid premiums for private health service plan
What is box 40 on the T4?
Box 40 is where taxable benefits and allowances you received by your employer will be reported. These can have been paid in cash, such as a meal allowance or provided in a manner other than cash such as a parking space or a gift. The CRA refers to gifts specifically as “gifts, awards, and long-service awards” and may include cash awards, “near cash” awards like gift cards, and “non-cash” awards such as tickets to a specific event.
How to get a T4 online
The absolute best way to access your current tax year T4 and past year T4 slips is through the CRA’s website. You’ll find T4 forms in the CRA’s personal taxpayer section known as “My Account,” an interface the agency explains is “a secure portal that lets you view your personal income tax and benefit information and manage your tax affairs online." There are two ways to sign in and access “My Account.” The first is you have an account with one of the CRA's "sign-in partners." If you can access your account online, you can easily use that sign in info to get directly into the "My Account" section. The second method is by using a CRA user ID and password to log directly into the CRA website. If you don’t have a login and password (or have forgotten it), register for one here. To confirm you are indeed you, they’ll ask for your social insurance number, date of birth, and current postal or province code, as well as one of the figures from a past income tax return. On its “Registration process to access the CRA login services” page, the CRA provides step-by-step instructions and various troubleshooting solutions.
How to get past T4 slips
If you’ve lost one or more T4 slips and need a copy, the absolute best place to retrieve them is through the “My Account” section on the CRA’s website. Directly above, in the “How to get a T4 online” section, you’ll find some detailed instructions on how to access the site. The CRA should have T4 slips dating back several years. If the information you’re seeking is missing, reach out to the human resources department of the current or former employer who issued the slip. They should be able to set you up.
Frequently Asked Questions
A T4 is a document that summarizes all of the money paid by an employer to an employee during a calendar year. It’s analogous to the W-2 form that U.S. employees get from their employer used to file income taxes. A T4 slip is also known as a Statement of Remuneration Paid.
T4s for employment in 2023 are due Thursday, February 29, 2024.
You may be able to get a slip for a current or previous year if the issuer sent them to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you use "My Account" with the CRA, you may be able to view your tax slips online. You can also request a copy from the CRA or by calling 1-800-959-8281.
Additionally, many employers are now providing digital T4 slips to employees. They may come via secure company email or an employee portal. It’s possible that you will also receive a paper copy via mail.
In Canada, every employer is required by law to complete a T4 Statement of Remuneration Paid slip and summary for each of their employees for the prior year by the last day of February, or, if the last day of February falls on a weekend, the first business day following that.
If an employer mails in the slips, the T4s must be postmarked on that day, or risk being assessed penalties.
You can calculate your net income by subtracting all allowable deductions from your total income for the year. This figure is used to determine your federal and provincial or territorial nonrefundable credits, or any social benefits you receive like the GST/HST credit or the Canada Child Benefit.
Income may include one or more of the following:
- Wage loss replacement
- Capital gains
- Social assistance payments
For a full list of income sources, check the CRA’s website.
Allowable deductions, which are subtracted from your total income to determine your net income, could include:
- Registered pension plan deductions
- Registered Retirement Savings Plan contributions
- Union or professional dues
- Child care expenses
- Moving expenses
- Business investment loss
- Employment expenses
Here’s a list of additional allowable deductions from the CRA's website.
You may be able to get a slip for a current or previous year if the issuer sent them to the CRA. If you use "My Account" with the CRA, you may be able to view your tax slips online. You can also request a copy from the CRA or by calling 1-800-959-8281.
You should contact your employer to request your T4 slip if you haven’t received it by the deadline for the current year. Also, verify that your employer has your correct address and social insurance number on file.
If your employer sent your T4 information to the CRA, you may be able to access your T4 slip through the CRA’s "My Account" platform.
Employers could face fines up to $7,500 in late-filing penalties depending on how late slips are filed and how many T4 slips are outstanding.
In Canada, every employer is required by law to complete T4 Statement of Remuneration Paid slips and summaries for the prior year by the last day of February, or, if the last day of February falls on a weekend, the first business day following that.
Your T4 slip is divided into boxes that are labeled with a unique line number. When completing your income tax returns, you’ll receive specific instructions that reference these numbers.
If you are using tax filing software, you may have the option to use the Auto-fill my return feature to automatically fill in parts of an income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has available at the time of the request. Typically, the CRA will already have your T4 information on file, which means it will import your information to the correct place for your income tax filing documents.
Used for the CERB, CEWS, and CESB eligibility (pandemic subsidies or benefits), this box is used to report retroactive employment income from March 15 to May 9, 2020. There’s no need to report this amount on your tax return, as it’s included in box 14 of your T4 slip.
Used for the CERB, CEWS, and CESB eligibility (pandemic subsidies or benefits), this box is used to report retroactive employment income from May 10 to July 4, 2020. There’s no need to report this amount on your tax return, as it’s included in box 14 of your T4 slip.
Used for the CERB, CEWS, and CESB eligibility (pandemic subsidies or benefits), this box is used to report retroactive employment income from July 5 to August 29, 2020. There’s no need to report this amount on your tax return, as it’s included in box 14 of your T4 slip.
Used for the CERB, CEWS, and CESB eligibility (pandemic subsidies or benefits), this box is used to report retroactive employment income from August 30 to September 26, 2020. There’s no need to report this amount on your tax return, as it’s included in box 14 of your T4 slip.
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