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An Overview of T4 Slips in Canada

Written by Jessica Steer
Reviewed by Victor Ko
With tax season around the corner, it’s time to start getting your paperwork together before it’s time to file. What you need in order to file your taxes depends on your current financial situation and how you earn your income. That said, for most who file their annual income tax and benefit return, one of the most important things they’re going to need is a T4.
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    In Canada, though, only some receive a T4. T4s are only given to those who work for an employer, as they include payroll deductions. Self-employed workers won’t receive a T4. Instead, you’ll have to compile all of your income and earning receipts together and calculate what you owe. As someone who is employed, you don’t have to do that; a T4 does it for you. 

    How T4’s Work

    A T4 slip is also referred to as a statement of remuneration paid. It breaks down the amounts paid to an employee by an employer throughout a calendar year. It contains all of your personal tax information and breaks down how much money you paid. It shows what part of your income is taxable income, net income, total income, what is paid to CPP (Canada Pension Plan), EI and income tax paid. It also shows any pension contributions that were made, as well as any other deductions. 

    While some can do their income taxes with just a T4, others may need more than one T4 or other required tax information. This is because T4s don’t contain all of your tax information. It just contains the information from your employer. If you have more than one employer, then you’ll receive more than one T4. In fact, you’ll receive some form of tax slip for any type of taxable income (including investment income) you receive during the calendar year. 

    Any employment expenses that you have aren’t included on a T4. That said, there are separate forms you can request from your employer to be able to claim these other employment expenses on your income taxes. 

    As an employer, you can find fillable T4 forms right on the CRA’s website.

    When T4’s Are Administered

    While T4s are required of employers to administer to employees, there’s no exact date they have to be administered. That said, there is a date that they have to be administered. They do have to be sent out by the end of February as the due date. With that in mind, though, most T4s will be received well before then, giving you time to compile your tax information before it’s time to file. 

    How many T4s you should receive is based on what your forms of income were for the tax year. You must have received them all for your primary income as well as any other income before you can file. If you haven’t received all of your T4s, then you should try to get them from your previous employer for the past year, as well as any other previous tax years you may be missing. 

    Getting Your T4 From a Previous Employer

    Before you can file your annual income tax return, you must receive all of your T4’s and tax slips from any taxable income you earned during that tax year. If you no longer work for any of the employers from whom you require tax slips, you should receive this slip via email or through the mail. Either way, you should get it before the end of February. If you don’t receive a T4 by then, then your best bet, as a former employee, is to start by contacting your former employer. Even if they no longer have the original T4, they’ll be able to get a copy and get it sent over to you. Chances are, the reason that you haven’t received your T4 is that your address had changed, so the form was sent to your previous mailing address. 

    CRA Website and T4’s

    Another way for previous employees to get a copy of T4 tax slips online, is through the CRA’s MyAccount website. As long as you have an online account, you should be able to see any T4s that were uploaded for the current tax year as well as previous years. These can usually be found sometime around the middle of March after your employer submits the T4s to the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency). If you don’t have a MyAccount, you can create one, but it will take a few business days since you’ll need a code from the CRA to activate the account. 

    While a CRA account isn’t required to file your tax return, it is one of the simplest ways to do so. Whether you file your taxes yourself or through a tax professional, you can use your CRA account to download all of your tax information and avoid the process of entering it manually. This is also ideal if you’re unable to track down a T4 from a previous employer since it should be found here. 

    T4’s From Service Canada

    The type of tax you’ll receive from government taxable benefits depends on the type of income you’re receiving. The most common is EI, also known as Employment Insurance. Since the funds from EI are taxable, you do have to claim this income as taxable income on your annual income tax return. 

    If you’re looking for your tax form from your EI earnings, then you’ll receive a form called the T4E form. You should receive this form in the mail, but you can also get it as early as February 1 using your My Service Canada Account. It will also be filed under your MyAccount with the CRA, although it may not appear there until later. Either way, this form can be found online when it’s time to file. 

    Breakdown of T4 Slip

    In Canada, a T4 slip contains Many different boxes that provide a breakdown of your annual earnings. Each T4 will have a breakdown of these for every employer you worked for. 

    Let’s look at the different boxes available on a T4 and what each one of them means. Before we do that, though, it’s important to note that each T4 will include the following information at the top:

    • Year
    • Employer's Name
    • Employee Name and Address
    Box NumberWhat it Includes
    10Province of Employment
    12Social Insurance Number
    28Exempt (CPP/QPP (Quebec Pension Plan). EI and PPIP)
    29Employment Code
    45Dental Benefits Offered by Employer
    54Employers Account Number
    14Employment Earnings (Includes taxable benefits and taxable allowances)
    16CPP Contributions Made By Employee
    16A2nd CPP Contributions Made By Employee
    17QPP Contributions
    17A2nd QPP Contributions
    18Employee’s EI Premiums
    22Income Tax Deducted
    24EI Insurable Earnings
    26CPP/QPP Pensionable Earnings
    55Employee’s PPIP Premiums
    56PPIP Insurable Earnings
    20RPP Contributions (Registered Pension Plan)
    50RPP or DPSP Registration Number
    52Pension Adjustment
    44Union Dues
    46Charitable Donations

    These are the most common boxes you’re going to find filled on your T4 in Canada. That said, there are some other codes as well. 

    Other T4 Boxes 

    Box NumberWhat It Includes
    30Board and Lodging
    31Special Work Site
    32Travel in a Prescribed Zone
    33Medical Travel Assistance
    34Personal Use of Employer’s Vehicle
    36Interest-Free and Low-Interest Loans
    38Security Option Benefits
    39Security Options Deduction
    40Other Taxable Allowances and Benefits
    41Security Options Deduction
    42Employment Commissions
    43Canadian Armed Forces Personnel and Police Deduction
    66Eligible Retiring Allowances
    67Non-Eligible Retiring Allowances
    69Indian (Exempt Income) - Non-Eligible Retiring Allowances
    71Indian (Tax-Exempt Income) -  Employment
    74Past service contributions for 1989 or earlier while a contributor
    75Past service contributions for 1989 or earlier while not a contributor
    77WCB benefits repaid to the employer
    78Fishers - Gross Income
    79Fishers - Net Partnership Amount
    80Fishers - Share Persons Amount
    81Placement or Employment Agency Worker - Gross Income
    82Taxi Drivers or passenger driver vehicles (gross income)
    83Barbers' or Hairdresser's Gross Income
    85Employee paid premiums for employee benefit plan
    86Security Options Elections
    87Emergency Services Volunteer Exemption Amount
    88Indian (Exempt Income) - Self-employment income

    While it’s not listed above for the previous tax year, for the 2023 tax year and subsequent taxation years, there will be a new box added. This is box 45, which allows employers to show Employer-offered Dental Benefits. There’s also a new box 015 for Payer-offered Dental Benefits. This was added to show if you have have dental care insurance through your employment. It’s a new reporting requirement and is required for all employees as well as their family members.

    The reason this is now being requested on T4s is because of the new Canadian Dental Care Plan. This plan helps to pay for dental services for those who don’t receive employer benefits for dental care. While this plan only covers dependent children, it will be expanding in 2024.


    As an employee in Canada, your employer will issue you a T4 before every tax season so you can report your employment income on your annual income tax return. For some, this isn’t the only form needed to report your income. It all depends on your personal finance situation, and how you earned your income during the tax year.

    That said, though, for those who are employed, T4s are an essential part of your tax journey and make filing your income taxes much easier. One important thing to note, though, is that while filing income taxes in Canada are pretty much the same everywhere, there are some differences with Quebec income taxes, so be sure to watch out for those differences. 

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