Please note that the following document, although believed to be correct at the time of issue, may not represent the current position of the CRA.
Prenez note que ce document, bien qu'exact au moment émis, peut ne pas représenter la position actuelle de l'ARC.
Principal Issues: Whether the issuer of an information slip, such as a T5, is required to send the slip to the recipient in situations where confirmation has been made that the recipient's address in their records is incorrect?
Reasons: The Income Tax Regulation 209(2) requires the information slip to be sent to the taxpayer's last known address. In situations where the address has been confirmed to be incorrect, and attempts to correct the address have not been successful, the information slip should not be sent. However the issuer must take reasonable care to correct their records.
January 22, 2014
Re: Information Slips and Incorrect Address
We are writing in reply to your email of May 17, 2013, requesting our views on whether an issuer of information slips, such as a T5, is required to issue an information slip to a taxpayer where the last known address of the taxpayer is known to be incorrect. We apologize for the delay in responding.
As noted in your inquiry, your company's current practice with respect to taxpayer information slips is to send the slip to the last known address, but in some circumstances the last known address of the taxpayer in your records is known to be no longer correct (for example, mail sent to the taxpayer has been returned by the post office). Therefore, you are concerned that mailing the taxpayer's information slip to the incorrect address may put the taxpayer's privacy at risk. As noted in our discussions with you, we agree with your concerns regarding the protection of the privacy of taxpayer information. In that regard, the following confirms our views on the issue.
Subsection 209(1) of the Income Tax Regulations (the "Regulations") requires every person who is required by section 200, 201, 202, 204, 212, 214, 215, 217 or 218, subsection 223(2) or section 228, 229, 230, 232, 233 or 234 to make an information return and shall forward to each taxpayer to whom the return relates two copies of the portion of the return that relates to that taxpayer.
Subsection 209(2) requires that the copies referred to in subsection (1) shall be sent to the taxpayer at the taxpayer's last known address or delivered to the taxpayer in person, on or before the date the return is required to be filed with the Minister.
While it is the responsibility of the issuer of information slips to ensure that their records are up to date, we agree with your view that the taxpayer's privacy could be at risk in the situation where the information slip is sent to an address that is known to be incorrect. Accordingly, where the issuer of the information slip has confirmation that the last known address of the taxpayer is incorrect and the issuer has taken reasonable efforts to obtain the taxpayer's correct address, the information slip should not be sent to the taxpayer in these circumstances.
We would recommend that the issuer of the information slip ensure that confirmation is made that the address is incorrect and document its efforts to update its client records. In the event that the issuer of information slips fails to comply with section 209 of the Regulations and does not make reasonable efforts to obtain the taxpayer's correct address, the issuer could be liable to a penalty under subsection 162(7) of the Income Tax Act (the "Act") for failing to file an information return as required by the Act or the Regulations.
In addition, where the issuer does not send the information slip to the taxpayer because the address is confirmed to be incorrect, the issuer is still required by subsection 205(1) of the Regulations to file the information returns with the Minister on or before the last day of February of the year following the calendar year in which the payments are made to the taxpayer.
We trust these comments will be of assistance.
Terry Young, CPA, CA
Manager, Administrative Law Section
Income Tax Rulings Directorate
Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch
cc: Kyle Larsen
Office of the Privacy Commissioner
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