How to Use T4 Slips to File Income Taxes

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Calculating Employment Income. Tom Merton / Caiaimage / Getty Images

Employers prepare and issue the Canadian T4 tax slip or Statement of Remuneration Paid to inform each employee and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) how much the employee earned during the previous tax year. The document also records the amount of income tax that was withheld from pay. Employment income includes salary, bonuses, vacation pay, tips, honorariums, commissions, taxable allowances, the value of taxable benefits, and payment in lieu of notice.

You'll typically receive three copies of a T4 tax slip—one to attach to your Canadian federal tax return, one to attach to your provincial or territory tax return, and one to keep for your own records. You'll also probably receive more than one T4 tax slip if you had more than one job.

The back of each T4 slip explains each item on the document, including which items to report on your income tax return and where, and which items are for Canada Revenue Agency use only.

Deadline for T4 Tax Slips

T4 tax slips must be issued by the last day of February in the year after the calendar year to which they apply. For example, you should receive your T4 tax slip for 2018 earnings by February 28, 2019.

Filing T4 Tax Slips With Your Income Tax Return

Include copies of each T4 tax slip you receive when you file a paper income tax return. If you file your tax return electronically using NETFILE or EFILE, keep copies of your T4 tax slips with your records for six years just in case the CRA asks to see them.

Missing T4 Tax Slips

If you haven't received a T4 slip, file your income tax return by the deadline anyway to avoid penalties for filing your taxes late. Calculate the income and any related deductions and credits you can claim as closely as possible based on the information you do have. Include copies of any statements or employment stubs you use to calculate your income and deductions as well as a note listing your employer's name and address, the type of income you received, and whatever steps you've taken to get a copy of the missing T4 slip.

You're required to ask your employer for a copy of your T4 before filing your return, so make sure to allow enough time to do this. Tax returns are due to the CRA by April 30 unless that day falls on a weekend or a holiday, in which case returns are due the following business day. For 2018 earnings, taxes must be filed no later than April 30, 2019.

If you need a T4 slip for a previous tax year, try checking the My Account service or calling the CRA at 800-959-8281.

Other T4 Tax Information Slips

Other T4 tax information slips include:

  • T4A: Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income
  • T4A(OAS): Statement of Old Age Security
  • T4A(P): Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits
  • T4E: Statement of Employment Insurance and Other Benefits
  • T4RIF: Statement of Income From a Registered Retirement Income Fund
  • T4RSP: Statement of RRSP Income