T4 slips are used to report all income you paid to your employees over the previous calendar year to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 

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You'll need to fill out T4 slips for your employees if:

  • you deducted CPP (Canada Pension Plan) contributions, QPP (Québec Pension Plan) contributions, IE (Employment Insurance) premiums, PPIP (Provincial Parental Insurance Plan) premiums, or income tax
or
  • you paid an employee more than $500.

Note: You'll need to provide your employees with a T4 form for each province or territory they worked in for your company.

If you're not sure how to report a specific benefit or amount on the T4 slip, consult an accountant or the CRA. 

Types of income that need to be reported on T4 slips

  • salary, wages (including pay in lieu of termination notice), tips or gratuities, bonuses, vacation pay, employment commissions, gross and insurable earnings of self-employed fishers, and all other remuneration (see Box 14 – Employment income for a detailed list) you paid to employees during the year
  • ​taxable benefits or allowances
  • retiring allowances
  • deductions you withheld during the year
  • pension adjustment amounts for employees who accrued a benefit for the year under a registered pension plan (RPP) or deferred profit sharing plan (DPSP).
Tip: You have to report income on a T4 slip for the year during which it was paid, regardless of when the services are performed, or if the employee is deceased. For example, if you pay your employee in January 2017 for income they earned in December 2016, you'll have to report that income on their T4 slip for 2017, since that's the year it was paid. 

Types of income that should not be reported on T4 slips
  • pensions, lump-sum payments, annuities, or other income (including amounts paid to a proprietor or partner of an unincorporated business)
  • fees (except for director fees), commissions, or other amounts to a non-resident for services rendered in Canada, other than employment situations
  • amounts from a retirement compensation agreement
  • amounts paid to subcontractors for goods and services rendered in connection with construction activities, when construction is the primary source of income for your business 

Step 1: Review your employee information

  1. Verify employee data
  2. Verify and review employee benefit information
  3. Verify and review payroll deductions

Step 2: Complete a T4 slip to give to each employee

  1. Select Taxes from the left.
  2. Select Payroll Tax at the top.
  3. Select Annual Forms under the Forms section.
  4. Select Select T4 slip (employee).
  5. Select the tax year you want to view T4 slips for.
  6. Select View to open and review the slips in Adobe Acrobat.
  7. Make sure all the information is correct. You can download or print the slips using the icons in Adobe Acrobat, then close the window.
  8. Give each of your employees their T4 slip in one of the following ways by the last day of February:
    • one copy sent electronically (for example, by email or secure employee portal). Important: you must have the employee's consent, in writing or electronic format, to send T4 slips electronically
    • two copies delivered in person
    • two copies, sent by mail to the employee's last known address

Step 3: Submit your employees' T4 slips to the CRA 

  1. Select Taxes from left.
  2. Select Payroll Tax at the top.
  3. Select Annual Forms under the Forms section.
  4. Select T4 slip (employer).
  5. Select the period and click View.
  6. The T4 slip (employer) opens in a new tab. It's a good idea to print or save a copy for your records.  
  7. Go back to QuickBooks Online in the previous tab and click Submit. This will export your T4 slips as an XML file and automatically archive a copy for your records in QuickBooks Online.
  8. Find the T4 XML file on your computer. Take note of the file name and location as you will need this later.
  9. Go to the Service Canada website.
  10. Select Internet file transfer. This is the only selection QuickBooks Online supports at this time.
  11. Read through the Disclaimer and select I agree.
  12. Enter the Account number (without dashes or spaces) and Web access code (case sensitive) you received from the CRA.
  13. Click Next.
  14. Browse to find the T4 XML file on your computer and upload it to the CRA website.
  15. Submit your return.
    • Important: The T4 XML file generated by QuickBooks Online also includes your T4 Summary. You don't need to submit your T4 Summary separately to the CRA.

It's a good idea to keep a record of the date and time the form was submitted.

Your T4 Summary must be filed with the CRA by the last day of February of the following year.  If you miss the filing deadline, you could be faced with penalties from the CRA.

Note: If you are mailing your forms to the CRA instead of using the XML file generated by QuickBooks Online, you'll need to send printed versions T4 slips (employer) for all of your employees as well as the T4 Summary. You can find the T4 Summary form on the CRA website.

Learn more from the CRA

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