The 2017 Federal Budget proposes to allow employers to issue electronic versions of T4 slips to employees. We’ll explain the Budget announcement and its goal to reduce the administrative burden for employers. The changes specifically impact electronic issuance of T4 Statement of Remuneration paid slips, not other types of slips at the moment.
Current Requirement (pre-2017)
Employers currently must provide employees with a T4 information slip by the last day of February following the calendar year in which an employer paid an employee any remuneration. The options for providing the T4 are as follows:
- Electronically (email or secure employee portal) if employee’s consent has been provided;
- Two paper copies delivered in person; or
- Two paper copies sent by regular mail to the last known address for the employee.
Changes (effective for 2017 calendar year)
Budget 2017 proposes to allow employers to electronically issue T4’s for 2017 and subsequent taxation years to employees without the initial need to obtain advance consent. The Minister of National Revenue will require that employers meet specific criteria before they can issue the slips without advance consent.
Employers wishing to issue T4 slips electronically without advance employee consent must provide the employees with:
- A secure electronic portal for employees to access their individual slips, like PaymentEvolution’s PayChequer
- Access to a secure site for T4 slip printing, and
- An option to request and receive T4 copies in paper format
Employee copies of slips for a specific calendar year must be provided by employers on or before the last day of February in the following year. For example, T4 slips pertaining to 2017 must be accessible online on or before February 28, 2018.
Paper Version of T4 Slips
Paper versions of T4 slips will have to be provided to an employee:
- If an employer cannot meet one or more of the conditions listed above and has not received prior employee consent to electronically issue the T4 slips;
- If employee specifically requests a paper version, such request should be written or in electronic format;
- If the employee is on extended leave or no longer employed at the time the slip is issued; or
- If the employee cannot be reasonably expected to have electronic access to the T4 slip.
Emailing T4 slips
Under the new rules, employers cannot issue T4 slips by email without employee consent. T4 slips contain sensitive information about individual taxpayers, and in our opinion, email is not a safe way to provide these tax slips. Consider secure, confidential employee tools like PayChequer (free with every PaymentEvolution account).
PaymentEvolution’s PayChequer online employee portal allows your employees to receive pay slips and tax documents electronically. These documents can be accessed anytime, anywhere and remain available for years to come. See how PaymentEvolution’s PayChequer online employee portal helps you successfully and securely share tax documents and pay slips, at https://PaymentEvolution.com/BusinessPlans.
We are sharing this content for information purposes only. We do not guarantee that it will remain accurate as government policies may change from time to time. If you want further information, please check the Canada Revenue Agency website (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency.html) or the Department of Finance Budget 2017 website (http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/home-accueil-en.html).
If you would like to learn more about T4 requirements, CRA has a specific web page for your information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/payroll/completing-filing-information-returns/t4-information-employers/t4-slip.html
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