Changes to Electronic Distribution of T4s

Did you know there have been changes to the regulations around providing T4 slips to your employees?

It is that time of year again – businesses are rushing around ensuring that they have all their employees personal information and payroll complete in order to prepare their T4s. T4s are required to be filed on or before February 28, 2018. Failure to file on time, results in severe penalties to the business.

Did you know there have been changes to the regulations around providing T4 slips to your employees?

Prior to 2017

Employers were required to 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 were 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.

Employer Criteria

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
  • 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 when providing T4 slips electronically.

For information on systems we recommend contact us today!

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