How to Retrieve a T4 From Previous Employers

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While employers are legally required to provide a T4 for each employee every year by the end of February, there are instances where one is not received.

For example, when an employee has left for another job, they can receive their T4 upon exit from the position, or it may be provided by mail when the current employee forms are mailed out.

How to Retrieve a T4

If you do not receive yours, there are two ways to retrieve one, you can contact the previous employer, and request one be sent to your current address or email, or you may access your T4 through the CRA.

The Canada Revenue Service receives and maintains a copy of all the T4s sent to all Canada employees. To retrieve one that has not been received from a previous employer, log in to your CRA account, access all documents, or contact CRA by phone.

In addition, you can access your account where your information can be retrieved and used for filing taxes or any other necessary processes on the Canada website.

You may also phone the CRA with your complete contact and identifying information, including name and address as well as SIN and previous tax information. They will send another copy for your use.

Each employer is required to send a copy of each T4 slip and other information to the employees and the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you have not received your copy, and they have not filed with the CRA either, or you are unable to retrieve your copy from the CRA themselves, contact your previous employer and request a new copy be sent to you.

This can be completed by mail, and in some instances, they will provide an email copy that needs to be printed if filing in paper or used as a reference for online filing.  

Your T4 will include your personal identifying information as well as the information from the employer. This is not only necessary for tax returns but provides valuable information when you are applying for assistance when you must show proof of work history for the CRA or other government agencies and your reference on earnings, deductions, and others.

Employers must maintain this information for a minimum number of years, but they will not necessarily have easy access to your forms beyond that. In this instance, or when the employer and company have gone out of business, it may be necessary to contact Revenue Canada directly. 

Some tax preparation software has been developed to connect with your CRA account and fill in your employment information directly into your tax forms. This is a fast and straightforward way to ensure your tax forms are completed with all the necessary information correctly.

However, this does require special permissions, and you must ensure it is a trusted site and connection before allowing any program to access your personal information. 

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.