Everything you need to know about the T4

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Drew Davis is a full-time professional writer who crafts web-optimised newsletters, blogs, product descriptions, press releases and articles, as well as specializing in tax content for Wealthsimple.

Drew Davis is a full-time professional copywriter who crafts web-optimised newsletters, blogs, product descriptions, press releases and articles, as well as writing tax content for Wealthsimple.

What is a T4?

If you’re a salaried employee, you’ve probably received a T4 once tax season rolls around. A T4, also referred to as a Statement of Remuneration Paid, simply shows how much money you earned as an employee, and how much was withheld and sent to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It’s usually prepared by an employer, and it’s one of the most important slips you’ll need as an employee filing your taxes.

In addition to documenting your salary, a T4 will also lists mandatory payroll deductions, such as your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, Employment Insurance (EI) premiums, vacation pay, bonuses, union dues and Registered Pension Plan (RPP) contributions.

Every employee in Canada who earns $500 or more in employment income within a calendar year (January 1 to December 31) must receive a T4 from every employer they work for. By law, employers must issue T4 slips to current and former employees for the preceding calendar year on or before the last day in February of the following year.

Who has to fill out a T4?

Are you an employer who has paid someone at least $500 within a calendar year and has deducted CPP contributions, EI premiums, or similar? Then you need to fill out a T4 and give it to them. If you’re an employee, then you need to make sure you receive a T4 from every employer for that given year.

T4 Breakdown

At first glance, the T4 can be a bit confusing since it contains a great deal of information on a relatively small form. It contains your name, address and social insurance number, as well as the year, your employer's name and their CRA employer account number.

Here's a breakdown of what you can expect to see on your T4:

BoxMeaning
Box 14 - Employment IncomeThis is your total pre-deduction income for the year.
Box 16 & Box 17Box 16 lists the total annual Canada Pension Plan contributions for employees outside of the Province of Quebec, while Box 17 lists the Quebec Pension Plan contributions for employees who worked in Quebec.
Box 18The total annual amount of your Employment Income premiums deducted directly from your paycheck.
Box 20This includes any Registered Pension Plan contributions deducted by your employer.
Box 22The total amount of income tax deducted by your employer from your wages or salary.
Box 24The annual insurable earnings used to calculate your EI premiums, which is the total entered in Box 14 less any earnings, benefits or allowances that are not used to in the EI premium calculations.
Box 26This box lists the amount of CPP/QPP pensionable earnings used to determine your CPP/QPP deductions listed in Box 16/Box 17.
Box 44If you are a member of a union, your union dues deducted by your employer are listed in this box.
Box 46Any charitable donations made directly through your employer are listed here.
Box 52If you earned benefits through a deferred profit-sharing or registered pension plan, the value of those benefits is listed in Box 52.
Box 55This box includes any provincial parental insurance plan (PPIP) premiums deducted from your income by your employer.
Box 56The total income used to calculate the PPIP premiums listed in Box 55 is listed in Box 56.
Other InformationThe T4 slip also includes an area called 'Other Information' used to document special tax codes.

How to Get a T4 Online

In order to obtain a T4 online, you need to log in to your online CRA account and look for the tab titled 'tax returns'. Select this tab, and navigate to 'Tax Information Slips'. This will open a drop-down menu. Choose the previous year, select the 'Information Slip' option and select the T4.

How to View Past T4s

When it comes to viewing past T4s, you have two options: contact your current and former employers to ask if they can provide you with copies of your T4s, or access the information through your individual CRA online account.

To view past T4s online, log in to your CRA account, select the 'Tax Returns' tab, then select the Tax Information Slips' option. This launches a drop-down menu with links to previous tax years. Simply click on the year you need your T4 for, then select the link to the T4 slip.

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Last Updated March 17, 2021

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