Unreported T-slip income

Written by Johnny Kwong, CPA on Jan. 29, 2019

Regardless of the reason, if you have unreported T-slip income of $500 or more from any T-slips in your current year tax return, don’t wait for CRA to catch it.

If you have unreported t-slip income in your current year return and also unreported t-slip income in any of the three years prior, you are subject to a penalty equal to the lesser of:

  • 20% of the unreported income amount (10% federally and 10% provincially) or
  • the tax payable from that t-slip less the income tax deducted on the t-slip multiplied by 50%.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Say you missed a slip that had 20,000 of earnings on it. Let’s assume this is all still in the first tax bracket, 15% marginal tax rate.

  • 10% of the unreported amount is $2,000. Yikes!
  • But, it’s the lesser of that, or 50% of the tax liability. So assuming that no tax was taken off that’s only $1,500 (20,000 * 15% * 50%). A bit better!
  • But this 20,000 slip is a T4, and it did have some source deductions on it – $2,000, in fact. That’ll bring that penalty down to $500 (20,000 * 15% = 3,000 – 2,000 = 1,000 * 50% = 500). Not ideal, but much better than our first two scenarios.

Also note that these penalties only apply if the unreported income is occurring for a second time in a four-year period. So be sure to do your best to keep track of all of your T-slips to avoid having to pay any unnecessary penalties.

It can be difficult to keep track of all T-slips, especially since they can be issued at various times throughout the year, and you may receive many different slips based on the number and type and investments you have. The number of T-slips you receive each year may also be different. However, Canada Revenue Agency receives copies of all T-slips issued to you, and verifies all income reported on the tax return to that on all of the T-slips, through a matching system.

Your due diligence is your best defense in this situation. For example, if you are unsure whether you have received all of your T-slips for the year, make sure you follow-up with relevant individuals/institutions (e.g. accountant, banks, investment advisor, employers, etc.), or call Canada Revenue Agency to verify which T-slips they have received.

For more detailed information please call KWB at 780-466-6204 or email us by clicking here.

Thanks to Johnny Kwong and Darryl Glen of KWB Chartered Professional Accountants for providing this content.

Johnny Kwong, CPA

Johnny Kwong, CPA


Johnny received his Bachelor of Commerce Degree in 2011, from Athabasca University. In April 2013, he joined the KWB team and began pursuing his CPA designation. He was officially admitted as a CPA member in December 2016 and continued working as a Senior Staff Accountant at KWB. In February 2019, Johnny was promoted to the role of Manager at KWB, and now continues to expand his knowledge and experience in a variety of areas.

In his personal life, Johnny is a proud father to two beautiful girls, who regularly surprise him with their own achievements. He and his wife are continuing to enjoy all the experiences of their parenting journey…except for the still persisting lack of sleep. In his minimal spare time, Johnny enjoys watching movies, going for long walks, and still attempts to find time to sneak in a date night here and there.

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