Welcome to your all-in-one resource for T4s! 'Tis the season to fill out or generate these forms to hand off to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and your employees, so we thought it'd be handy to have the information you'll need in one place. Whether you're doing so manually or using a payroll software like Wagepoint, take a moment to read through this blog to learn the whats, the whys, the whens and the hows of T4 preparation and filing.
First of all, what is a T4?
This is a totally valid question, and a good place to start. Generally, people will simply call the form a "T4," but its full name is T4 slip: Statement of Remuneration Paid (I'm sure you can see why it's shortened).
This form is used to report employee wages and taxes from the calendar year so that they can file their income taxes. The amounts are broken down and categorized into specific boxes.
2021 tax season T4 slip: Statement of Remuneration Paid.
There are also similar forms, T4As for contractors and Relevé-1s (RL-1s) for Québec. If you'd like to take a deep dive into T4s, T4As and RL-1s, check out our Canadian Small Business Employer’s Guide to T4s, T4As and RL-1s.
What's new with T4s?
The 2020 tax year felt like a bit of a puzzle as we tried to figure out how to account for the various financial supports in response to COVID-19. From a T4 perspective, it meant the addition of boxes (or codes) 57 to 60 for payments from the Temporary Wage Subsidy during specific periods outlined by the CRA.
One of the key changes to T4s for the 2021 tax year has to do with these boxes — boxes 57 to 60 are no longer needed. Since they only applied to dates in the 2020 calendar year, you can do away with these when working with your 2021 tax year T4 slips.
Note: For individuals that got benefits such as the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) or Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), the CRA will send a T4A slip. There'll also be instructions on how to file this with personal income taxes, and there is no need to include this information in a T4.
Learn about the differences between income tax and payroll tax.
Review your documents before issuing T4s.
Knowing what T4s are and what to include in them is great! But you'll also want to make sure you're reviewing the details before you send them out. That way, you can have confidence the information is correct and avoid penalties.
Apart from what's outlined in the Canadian Small Business Employer’s Guide to T4s, T4As and RL-1s for preparing and issuing T4s, taking the time to review other details such as shareholder payments and CRA balances can mean less headaches later. Even if these don't seem directly related to T4s, T4 information can still factor in and these can impact how you file year-end forms for your business.
The less money spent on headache medication and time spent rubbing our temples, the better, so we recommend reading through What To Check Before Issuing T4s.
Reviewing and submitting with Wagepoint.
If you processed a minimum of two (2) pay runs in the 2021 calendar year using Wagepoint, the good news is the software will generate T4s for your employees. Depending on your settings, we can even submit them on your behalf. How's that for teamwork?
With that in mind, there are important dates and deadlines to take note of. Keeping an eye on these dates — and your Wagepoint settings — will mean no surprises or scrambling to make corrections or meet deadlines last minute.
The Wagepoint setting you'll want to be mindful of is the "Auto-submit tax forms” status in Settings > Account Settings. If this is toggled to "Yes," we'll file your forms on your behalf on February 22, 2022, but it's still up to you to review them and make sure the information is accurate.
Read this for a complete look at timelines and tips for reviewing and filing 2021 year-end documents. This is also available in French.
Wrapping up this T4 roundup.
With these T4 resources under your belt, you'll be well on your way to handling these forms for your employees and for your small business's filing. Don't forget that it doesn't hurt to check in with an accountant or the CRA if you have any questions about these processes.
T4 resource recap.
Did you catch all the T4 related blogs we mentioned? Check out this quick list!
- Timelines And Tips For 2021 Year-End Documents (T4s, T4As And RL-1s) (English)
- Délais et conseils pour les documents de fin d’année 2021 (T4, T4A et RL-1) (French)
- A Canadian Small Business Employer’s Guide to T4s, T4As and RL-1s [Checklist Included]
- What To Check Before Issuing T4s
- Payroll Tax vs. Income Tax — How They Work for Canadian Payroll
The advice we share on our blog is intended to be informational. It does not replace the expertise of accredited business professionals. Remittance and reporting capabilities within Wagepoint vary by location. To qualify for complimentary T4s, a business must run a minimum of two (2) payrolls in the current calendar year.
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