What You Need To Know About Tax Form Amendments And PIER Reports

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Introducing tax form amendments and PIER reports.

Tax form (T4, T4A and RL-1) amendments and Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review (PIER) reports are probably terms you'll hear a lot of at this time of the year. In their own ways, these are all about ensuring that the numbers you've submitted during your year-end filing for payroll are correct.

They're not exactly the same thing, though, nor are they used in the same situations. Let's peer down the rabbit holes of tax form amendments and PIER reports together.

Tax form amendments: Making changes with Wagepoint.

So, you've submitted your T4 Statements of Remuneration Paid (we'll call them T4s or T4 slips for short), T4A slips: Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income (T4As), and/or Rl-1 Slips: Employment And Other Income (RL-1s). Then, all of a sudden, you spot an error that snuck past your review. Firstly, don't panic! As always, your Payroll BFFs are here to help.

If you submitted your T4s, T4As and/or RL-1s using Wagepoint, we can help with your amendments.

Our Canadian Small Business Employer's Guide to T4, T4As and RL-1s goes over these year-end employee forms in detail.

Starting March 1, you can submit an amendment request to Wagepoint Customer Support, and one of our friendly team members will get back to you to get the ball rolling. There is no end date for amendments.

The process is fairly simple, starting with reaching out to Customer Support. When you do, here's what to provide to keep things running smoothly:

  • Amounts that need to be changed/updated on an Excel spreadsheet
  • Reason for the amendment
  • Employees' full names and employee ID
    • To find the employee ID, navigate to the Employees tab > hover over the employee in question > make note of the ID shown on the bottom left of the screen.
  • Final value to replace in each box on the employee's T4, T4A or RL-1 (Example: If Box 14 and 40 on the T4 need to be updated, we'll also need to know if Box 24 (insurable earnings) and Box 26 (pensionable earnings) also need to be updated)

Without these details, our team won't be able to complete the amendment, so it's important to have them. Once we have these details and make the changes, we'll submit the amendments on your behalf.

Note: If any amendment ends up meaning you have to pay additional source deductions to the government, you'll need to remit them on your own. Wagepoint will not remit for previous years.

Tax form amendments: The DIY option.

Did you know you can amend year-end forms like T4s, T4As and RL-1s yourself directly with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Revenu Québec (RQ)? You can! We'll break down this do-it-yourself option for you.

Amending T4s and T4As with the CRA.

There are two ways to amend T4 and T4A slips with the CRA: Over the internet or on paper.

When amending T4s and T4As over the internet, you'd still follow the electronic filing process, which allows you to change what needs to be changed and keep all the other information that's correct. This is what to do:

  • Only include the slips that you're amending.
  • Use the slip and summary report types "code A."
  • Make changes to the fields that need correcting and include all the data that hasn't been changed for the slip.
  • Only include the totals from the amended slips on the amended summary.
  • Provide the reason for the amendment by completing the "Filer Amendment Note" on the summary page. If the specific reason applies to individual slips, include the recipient's name.

The CRA may contact you when you submit amendments electronically to get more details as to why.

As for submitting amendments on paper, it's about making sure the pages are clearly marked and filled out. Here are the key points:

  • Clearly write "AMENDED" at the top of each slip.
  • Make sure you're filling out all of the necessary boxes, even the ones that were correct on the original slip.
  • Send two copies of the amended slips to the employee or contractor.
  • Send one copy of the amended slip with a letter explaining why you're making the amendment to any National Verification and Collection Centre.
  • Do not file an amended T4 Summary.

Read the CRA pages on amending T4s and T4As.

Amending RL-1s with RQ.

RL-1s can also be amended online or by paper. Before you get started, the RQ emphasizes the following two points: Do not file an amendment to correct an address or the identity of the employee. In these two instances, the RQ process is cancelling and reissuing the RL-1s.

Amendments to RL-1s are intended for the numeric figures on the form. Here is the information that the RQ is looking for on an amendment.

  • Put the letter "A" in the "Code du relevé" box.
  • Include the number from the upper right-hand corner of the RL-1 slip you already filed and put it in the box "No du dernier relevé transmis."
  • Write the word "Modifié" on Copy 2 (to be sent to the employee) as well as Copy 1 (to be sent to RQ) of the amended slips when filing by paper.
  • Enter the amended amounts needed in the appropriate boxes.
  • Copy the amounts that don't need correcting from the original slip into the appropriate boxes.

Now, for the process. If you're submitting the amendments using the Transmitting RL Slips online portal, all you need to do is file the amended slip to replace the one that was already filed. When doing so, keep these things in mind:

  • Make sure a new sequential number is entered on the amended slip.
  • Make sure the number in the box marked "No du dernier relevé transmis" is the same as the one entered in the RL-slip XML file you sent (Note: This is the number in the box in the upper right corner of the slip you're amending).
  • Make sure the correct and uncorrected numbers in each box are accurate.
  • Make sure you're sending the amended RL-1 slips in a separate XML file that has only the amended slips.

Don't forget to send amended RL-1 Summaries. These must be sent to RQ by mail and have the total number of RL-1 slips you've filed, including original, amended and cancelled slips, as well as the total for all amount in each box for all RL-1s, whether they've been amended or not.

Learn more about amending RL-1s from the RQ website.

Where to send amended RL-1s and the RL-1 Summary by mail.

PIER reports: What are they and why might I get one?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, PIER stands for Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review. When you submit your T4s and T4 Summary during tax season, the CRA reviews that information against the pensionable and insurable earnings that you withheld and remitted throughout the year.

In other words, they want to make sure the math works out. They compare your Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and employment insurance (EI) premiums against what the calculations should be using Payroll Deductions Tables.

When there's a difference between the numbers, the CRA prints them off on a PIER listing, which shows the name of the employees with figures that don't match as well as the numbers the CRA used for their calculations. The employee number will also be included on the listing if you filed electronically and included that detail on the T4s.

With the PIER listing is a summary that shows any balance owed.

Why should you care about PIER reports?

Quite simply, you should care about the PIER review because it makes sure your numbers are lining up correctly. If your CPP contributions and EI premiums are incorrect, it could result in your employees not getting the right benefits. That includes potentially getting less than they should receive.

How multiple T4s can impact PIER reports.

Say you have a situation where your business number (BN) has more than one payroll program account extension. In this case, the CRA won't send a PIER report for any differences in calculations when your return is processed.

That doesn't mean they just ignore the process, however. Instead what'll happen is they compare all the T4s for your BN at a later date to confirm that everything is as it should be. If they find any problems at that time, they'll contact you. If everything is A-OK, they cancel the PIER.

For more about PIER reporting and the breakdown of the CRA's calculations for your CPP and EI figures, check out the Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review (PIER) page.

Out of the rabbit holes and back to business with payroll.

Whew! That was a lot of information, but hopefully peering down these rabbit holes has helped clarify what to do if you need T4, T4A or RL-1 amendments or if you receive a PIER report.

Need our help with amending your T4s, T4As and RL-1s? It's easy to reach us right from your Wagepoint account.

Other resources.

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.

About the Author

Laura A. Barton

Laura is a Content Specialist with Wagepoint who has a passion for telling stories in both the fiction and non-fiction realms. She loves narratives that explore human nature and has a particular interest in mental health. Although writing takes up a good chunk of her time, she can otherwise be found immersing herself in social media, reading, or binge-watching videos online.

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