In an attempt to encourage efficiency and reduce administrative burden for filers, the 2017 Federal Budget allows employers to electronically issue T4 slips to active employees, even without obtaining prior consent. Until this announcement, employers could send one copy of the T4 electronically, provided they had the employee's consent ahead of time, (as well as still providing one paper copy), or they could send two paper copies to the employee's mailing address or provide two paper copies in person.
The Budget announcement means that for 2017 T4 slips (and those for any subsequent year), employers now do not have to obtain consent from an employee to distribute their T4 electronically, provided the following considerations are met:
- the employee is currently active (not on leave, has not left the company)
(by the last day of February in the year following the calendar year to which the T4 applies) the employer provides the employee
a secure electronic portal through which the employee can obtain access their T4 slip,
a secure site for printing the T4 slip, and
an option to receive paper copies of the T4 slip, upon request.
The employer must distribute 2 paper copies of the T4:
- if the employee has requested that method
- if the employee is on leave or no longer with the company
- if the employee can not reasonably be expected to access the T4 electronically
- if the employer cannot meet the above conditions for secure electronic transfer (unless the employee had previously provided consent to receive the T4 slip electronically)
It is important to note that Budget 2017 does not consider email to be a secure method of transferring sensitive information included in the T4 slip, and it does not permit employers to use email as a method of distributing the T4 to employees without their prior consent. So, the only case in which a T4 slip is permitted to be distributed to an employee by email is if the employee has previously provided (written or electronic) consent to receive one copy of the T4 by email.
Visit this page on the CRA website for more information.