We round up some of the most important resources you’ll need to make sure you have a smooth Canadian Payroll experience heading into 2021 and eventually, income tax season.

Canadian Payroll Resources for Employees

If you get paid in Canadian, this guide is for you! You’ll find several resources that you can share with your fellow employees and managers to make sure you have a positive Payroll experience when the time comes to file your income taxes for 2020.

We also hope this helps lighten the load for your hardworking Payroll team.

By the way, if you haven’t thanked your Payroll team lately for all they do in making sure you get paid on time and accurately, we think it would be a nice gesture if you did.

Make sure you know what’s new for your first pay of 2021

  1. Your CPP /QPP contributions, EI and QPIP premiums are reset in the New Year
  2. Complete a new TD1 form and submit to Payroll so they have the most accurate information when it comes to deducting tax from your pay
  3. Refer to our legislation guide for any Federal or Provincial tax changes you need to know about
  4. Stay up to date with any minimum wage changes for your Province
  5. In most jurisdictions, your employer has until February 28, 2021 to send out your T4
  6. Are you paid weekly or bi-weekly? If so, please refer to your employer’s payroll calendar and see if there’s an extra pay period this year

Federal TD1 Changes for 2021

Federal TD1 (form)

2021

2020

Basic personal*

$13,808*

$12,298 or $13,229

Child amount

$2,295

$2,273

Age amount

$7,713

$7,637

Pension income amount

$2,000

$2,000

Disability amount

$8,662

$8,576

Spouse or common-law partner amount

$13,808*

$12,298

Amount for eligible dependent

$13,808*

$12,298

Caregiver amount or infirm amount for dependent 18+

$7,348

$7,276

*If the employee’s taxable income from all sources for the year will be $151,978 or less. Employees with an income greater than $151,978 can complete TD1-WS Worksheet to calculate their partial claim.

Provincial TD1 Changes for 2021

Basic Personal Amount

2021

2020

Alberta (form)

$19,369

$19,369

British Columbia (form)

$11,070

$10,949

Manitoba (form)

$9,936

$9,838

New Brunswick (form)

$10,564

$10,459

Newfoundland and Labrador (form)

$9,536

$9,498

Northwest Territories (form)

$15,243

$15,093

Nova Scotia (form)

$11,481*

$11,481

Nunavut (form)

$16,467

$16,304

Ontario (form)

$10,880

$10,783

Prince Edward Island (form)

$10,500

$10,000

Québec (EN) (FR)

$15,728

$15,532

Saskatchewan (form)

$16,225

$16,065

Yukon (form)

$13,808**

$12,298

*If the employee’s taxable income from all sources for the year will be $25,000 or less. Employees in Nova Scotia with an income greater than $25,000 can complete TD1NS-WS Worksheet to calculate their partial claim.

**If the employee’s taxable income from all sources for the year will be $151,978 or less. Employees in Yukon with an income greater than $151,978 can complete TD1YT-WS Worksheet to calculate their partial claim.

Tax Slip Guides for Employees on Canadian Payroll

You’ll find a bilingual guide to T4 tax slips, T4A tax slips, and the Relevé RL-1 tax slip for employees in Québec.

Frequently Asked Questions from Employees for 2020 Year-End

Sometimes internal communications get missed. If your employees don’t receive or see your communications regarding 2020 tax slip information or what they can expect from their first pay of 2021, we’ve put together a comprehensive FAQ of the most common questions we find employees will ask their Payroll team on the matter.

Employee Tax Slip FAQ for Payroll Year-End

1. Why do I have two T4 Slips?

If you have received more than one T4 from us, there are a few possible reasons:

  • You have more than six codes populating the Other Information section. 2020 may be the first time you’ve had this many earnings, as there are four additional boxes included to report earnings during the 2020 federal COVID-19 response.
  • You worked at different locations or different company divisions, which required us to produce a T4 for each business number you worked in.
  • You worked or earned income in different ways; for example, you were on contract and then gained full-time employment with us.
  • You worked for the company in two different provinces during the year.

If any of these apply, and you received the two slips together, it is important that you include them both in your tax return.

2. What is box 40 on my T4?

Box 40 on your T4 is the amount of Taxable Benefits that you have received in the year. These are benefits paid by the company on your behalf, such as life insurance and company RRSP contributions.

Taxable Benefits are identified as such on your pay statements. If you total the items identified as Taxable Benefits on your pay statements, you should arrive at the total in box 40. If your total is not the same as box 40, please contact your Payroll team.

3. Why does my income in box 14 on my T4 seem high?

Box 14 includes your gross salary as well as all taxable benefits in box 40. The amount shown in box 40 should be added to your gross year-to-date salary from your final pay statement in December. The total should equal the amount shown in box 14. If this is not the case, please contact your Payroll team.

2020 may have included an extra pay period if you are paid bi-weekly or weekly, so the amount in box 14 may be slightly higher than you expected.

4. Why does my income in box 14 on my T4 seem low?

You may have received two or more T4s. The amount shown in box 14 in each T4 should be totaled and equal to your final December pay statement year-to-date earnings, plus the total of taxable benefits recorded in box 40 of each T4. If this is not the case, please contact your Payroll team.

5. What is the difference between a T4 and a T4A?

The Canada Revenue Agency requires that different tax slips report specific types of income.

  • A T4 is a tax slip issued to report employment income, taxable benefits and retiring allowances.
  • A T4A is a tax slip for income such as a pension, lump sum payments, and other income as defined by the CRA.

6. How can I get a reprint of my tax slip if I lose it?

Although many T4s are delivered digitally, you can print as many copies of your tax slips from your Employer’s Self-Service Portal, if one is available to you. Otherwise, please contact your Payroll team and request another copy.

7. Do I need to print my online tax slips?

If you are filing your taxes electronically, printing the slip is entirely optional as you will always have access to the slips through your Employer’s Self-Service Portal (as long as you have access to that portal at a future date should you need them now or in the future). If you file electronically, you can read the values for each tax slip box online when completing your income tax return.

8. Will the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) accept a self-printed/online tax slip?

The CRA gladly accepts self-printed tax slips printed or downloaded from a Self-Service Portal. The form generated matches all CRA specifications and will look almost identical to a printed T4 or T4A.

9. What if there is incorrect information on my tax slip?

If your Social Insurance Number or the financial information is incorrect, please contact your Payroll team, as they may have to reissue a new tax receipt. If your address is incorrect, simply enter the correct information on your tax return.

10. How do I change my tax claim amounts or have additional taxes deducted from my 2021 pay?

You will need to complete and submit new TD1 forms (Provincial and Federal) for 2021, indicating the additional amount you’d like deducted. You can access the new TD1s through the CRA website.

11. Why are over half of my tax slip boxes empty?

Only the tax boxes relevant to you will be completed. But if you feel there’s a box that’s missing a value, please contact your Payroll team.

12. Why is my income in box 14 greater than the CPP pensionable and EI insurable earnings? (i.e. box 14 is larger than box 24 and 26)

Box 24 for EI insurable earnings has a maximum of $54,200, and box 26 for CPP/QPP pensionable earnings has a maximum of $58,700. If your income is higher than those amounts, box 14 will be larger than boxes 24 and 26.

13. Who should I contact if I have a question?

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your Payroll team. To facilitate a response to your query, please have your tax slips, as well as your final December 2020 pay stub available.

14. I need help filing my tax return.

The Canada Revenue Agency can help you if you’re having a tough time filing your income tax return.

If you are a student, senior, person with a disability, a newcomer to Canada, or a low-income earner with a simple tax-filing situation, contact Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) at 1-800-959-8281 to ask for help. CVITP volunteers work with members of local community organizations who can help you complete and file your return.

Frequently Asked Questions from Employees 2021 First Pay Period

1. Why is my paycheque less in January than it was in December?

Check your December 2020 pay statement to see if you maxed out on your CPP and EI contributions in 2020. Remember that CPP and EI restart every January.

Additionally, CPP, QPP, EI, and QPIP have increased, which means more will be taken off each paycheque. The new employee annual maximum contributions for 2021 are:

  • CPP: $3,166.45
  • QPP: $3,427.90
  • EI: $889.54
  • Québec EI: $664.34
  • QPIP: $412.49

2. Why is my vacation, sick, PTO balance reset to zero?

Vacation is moved into the previous year’s accrual bank. Sick time and PTO are restarted every January with new balances.

3. I want to contribute to my RRSP in the first 60 days of the new year; what is the RRSP annual contribution limit for 2020?

The maximum RRSP annual contribution limit for 2021 is $27,830.

4. How much am I allowed to put into my TFSA during 2021?

The TFSA limit for 2021 is $6,000.

5. Will the minimum wage be changing in 2021, and if so, when and by how much?

Check out this guide to minimum wages and planned increases across Canada.

6. Why do I need to complete new TD1s each year?

A new TD1 ensures that you inform us of any changes in your life that could impact your income tax calculations. This could include having a new dependent, becoming a caregiver, or recently enrolling in school. Completing a new TD1 ensures your taxes will be calculated accurately at the source, your pay.

7. How do I prevent the additional tax from coming off my cheque this year?

When you complete your new Federal TD1, leave the Additional Tax to be deducted box blank, and Payroll will not deduct additional tax from your pay.

Additional Payroll Legislative Updates and Links

Here you’ll find provincial and federal information on payroll deductions, payroll year-end employer kits, and more.

Additional links: