Currently, issuers of T4 information slips must provide two copies of the slips to each employee or worker to whom they relate. These slips must be delivered to the taxpayer or sent to the taxpayer’s last known address. Copies of T4 slips may only be sent to a taxpayer electronically if the taxpayer has provided advance written or electronic consent to receive the slips in that manner.

The Budget seeks to reduce compliance costs and increase efficiencies for both them and for employees by allowing employers to distribute T4 slips electronically to current active employees without first having to receive the employees’ consent (as is presently the case). In order to ensure that employee information remains confidential, adequate privacy safeguards will need to be in place before T4 slips can be sent to employees under the new measures. These privacy safeguards will be outlined by the Minister of National Revenue and will include provisions mandating employers to continue to provide paper T4 information slips to those employees who do not have confidential access to view or print their T4s. The explanatory notes to the Budget indicate that such persons would include employees who are on leave and former employees. To the extent that an employee requests paper copies of his or her T4 slips, the employer will be obliged to provide him or her with same.

This measure will apply for T4s issued for the 2017 and subsequent taxation years.