Information Returns/Record Keeping

Information Returns

Your employer information return consists of both a summary and a slip. Depending on the type of income you pay to your employees, you may have to file one or more types of returns. However, the most common information return is the T4.

Your summary and copies of all the individual slips are due to CRA on or before the last day of February following the calendar year to which they apply. The summary shows all the amounts you paid to each employee, all the deductions you have made and all the employer contributions. The summary also requires you to calculate the proper amount of deductions and contributions. Remit any shortfall in the amount paid when you file the information return. Attach to your summary copies of all individual T4 slips created for each employee. Depending on the number of employees you have, you may not be able to paper file and may be required to file online.

The T4 slip also must be given to each employee before the last day of February following the calendar year to which they apply. You can deliver the slip by mail, by hand, or electronically if the employee consents to this method of delivery. Failure to file on time may result in a penalty.

Keep copies of all the information returns, including copies of all the individual slips.


Want more information?
For information on completing and filing the T4 Slip and Summary Form see “T4 – Information for Employers” on the CRA website.


Keeping Records

In essence, you need to keep all the records that will support your income tax return when filed. The records must allow you to determine how much tax you owe, and the amounts you have collected, withheld, deducted, and remitted. It is beyond the scope of this module to detail all the records that you must maintain. You must also maintain employee records that include summaries of wages paid and remittances made to CRA, as well as copies of CRA information returns and all provincial payments, such as WCB.

For CRA purposes, all records must be kept in Canada and must be available on request. When you register for your BN, you will be asked for the address where your business records are to be kept. You must keep all your business records for six years from the end of the last tax year to which they apply. If you become embroiled in an objection or an appeal, be sure to keep all your records until the process is finished.