Wondering how to get a T4 from a previous employer? If so, then you’re reading the right post.
By the end of February, most Canadians should have received their T4 slips from the previous tax year. However, these slips can be misplaced or simply lost in the mail. Sometimes, a former employer may neglect to send your T4 or send it to the wrong address.
Here’s how to get a T4 from a previous employer:
- Contact your former employer
- Provide updated contact information
- Contact the CRA about your T4 slip
- Wait for your T4 slip to arrive in the mail
I’ll go into each of these steps below and answer some other common questions about lost T4 slips and how to file your taxes without a T4 slip.
A T4 slip, also known as the Statement of Remuneration Paid, is an important tax document that employers in Canada are required to provide to their employees. These slips summarize the employee’s total income, deductions, and taxes withheld during a calendar year.
If you work a standard job and are paid an hourly wage or salary, then you can expect to receive a T4 slip by the end of February. This T4 slip includes important details that you’ll need to complete your tax returns accurately, which are due by April 30th.
T4 equivalents include:
- T4A (for non-employee contract workers and freelancers)
- RL-1 (if your employer is based in Quebec, which has a different tax system)
Without your T4 slip, completing your tax returns can be difficult, especially if you didn’t receive a steady monthly salary. So, it’s important to do your best to recover a lost T4 slip as soon as possible to meet the tax return deadline.
If you still have the same employer, you should be able to speak with your employer’s accounting office or ask your boss directly for a copy of your T4. They should have up-to-date tax records for all their current employees, including you.
What about a former employer, though?
Here are the steps you’ll need to take to recover a T4 slip from a previous job.
The easiest thing to do is to contact your previous employer and ask for a copy of your last T4. You should contact the company’s HR or accounting department to ask for this. If you work for a smaller business, you may need to contact your former boss directly or speak with their accountant.
Companies should keep former employee tax records on hand, even if the individual no longer works there.
After a certain time period, the records may be disposed of. However, if the organization employed you within the past six years (which is required by the CRA), then you should be able to get a copy of your T4 slip with a simple phone call.
You’ll typically need to provide them with your legal name, Social Insurance Number (SIN), and the tax year for which you require the T4 slip.
Given the rise of fraud and identity theft, they may also ask for additional information to confirm that you are who you say you are.
One of the most common reasons T4 slips get lost in transit is that they’re sent to the wrong address. If you moved to a new residence and failed to notify your former employer’s accounting department, it was likely sent to the previous address you had on file with them.
When speaking with your previous employer, make sure that you give them updated contact information, including your mailing address, phone number, and email address.
If for some reason, you’re unable to get ahold of your employer, then you can also try to contact the CRA regarding this issue. The CRA often keeps copies of T4 slips filed by employers and small businesses, so there’s a good chance they’ll have a copy of yours that they can issue to you.
Whether you request your T4 from a former employer or the CRA, it can take some time to arrive by mail. In most cases, you should receive your recovered T4 within a week.
If your former employer and the CRA don’t have a copy of your T4 slip, then you’ll need to file your taxes without it.
Of course, it may not be completely accurate. However, you should do your best to enter accurate information about your income and taxes paid for the year. You may need to work with a tax preparer here or look closely at your previous year’s bank statements for direct deposits and paycheques.
If you left your previous job on bad terms or were fired, your employer may not communicate with you. While the law requires all employers to issue T4 slips to former employees, contacting them can still be difficult, or they may procrastinate the issue.
In this case, contacting the CRA directly is best to see if they have a copy.
In most cases, recovering a T4 from a previous employer is as simple as making a phone call to their accounting department. However, you may have to go a step further and contact the CRA about the matter.
If you don’t have any luck with either of these options, you can still file your tax returns using the most accurate information and receipts that you have.
Whether you’re self-employed or work a standard job, accounting software can help you keep track of your income and expenses, which makes tax season a lot easier. Keep on reading to see my list of the best free tax software in Canada!