Help with fillable forms
As with all CRA forms, you are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of all the data that you provide on fillable forms.
This help file offers information about:
CRA PDF forms have been tested for compatibility with Adobe Reader 9 and higher. These forms may also be opened with other PDF viewers such as Foxit Reader, PDF-XChange Viewer, and Nuance PDF Reader; however, some form features may not be fully supported. These PDF viewers can be obtained for free from the vendors’ Web sites.
Google Chrome and Apple Safari come with built-in PDF viewers that are enabled by default to open PDF files directly in the browser window. If you are using one of these browsers, you must first download the CRA form and then open it using a compatible PDF viewer.
In addition to the information provided here, you can access the online guides for your PDF viewer software. For example, if you have Adobe Reader, click Reader, Help, Adobe Reader Help.
- Enter the appropriate data in each box or field. By default, all fields where you can enter or select information are highlighted.
- To move from one field to the next, press the "Tab" key or use the cursor.
Multi-part forms consist of an original form (the top copy) plus one or more copies that are automatically created once the original form is completed (for example, an information slip).When the same information is needed on more than one part or copy of a form, enter the information only once, in the first part of the form. Note: In some cases, copies may only appear after the form is printed.
The CRA Web site includes some fillable forms that perform calculations.
These calculations are based on the amounts you enter. For example, when you enter data in two fields that are to be added together, the form automatically calculates the total and inserts it in the correct third field.
You are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of any information submitted on a fillable form that performs calculations. Be sure to double-check all the data that you enter!
- Some fields limit the maximum number of characters that you can enter. You may also be restricted to entering certain types of characters only, such as numeric or alphabetic.
- For example, you can have a maximum of nine characters in the field where you enter a social insurance number and the characters must be numeric.
- Dates: Unless otherwise specified, enter all dates in the format yyyymmdd. For example, for February 3, 2011, enter 20110203. The slash characters separating the year, month, and day will be inserted automatically.
- Dollar amounts: When entering dollar amounts that include cents, you must enter the decimal point.
- If you do not enter the decimal point, the system will assume that the amount you entered is all in dollars and will automatically insert a decimal point after the final.
- Signatures: If you are using a fillable form that requires a signature, after you have completed the form, print it and sign it by hand.
- The system will not let you enter anything online in the signature field.
- When using a fillable form, you can click on these buttons as needed:
- Help: Accesses the help file for the form you are using.
- Publications: For some forms, enables you to link to a corresponding publication, for example, a guide or another form. The link is either a blue box surrounding the publication name, or a solid line under the name.
- Instructions: Displays instructions specific to that form, for example, the instructions on the back of a printed form.
- Note: Not all CRA forms include these extra instructions.
- Information icon (lower-case “i”) or light bulb: Clicking the icon beside a field or section of a form displays a special message or instructions about that field or section.
- Clear Data or Restore: Erases all the data that you entered on a fillable form and so that you can start over.
Additional instructions for PDF fillable forms
Complete page 1 for two different recipients to print the copy that you must send to the CRA. Do not separate the slips when you send them with your Summary. Use pages 2 and 3 to print the two copies you are giving to the recipients and page 4 to print the copies you are keeping for your records.
Complete page 1 for three different recipients to print the copy that you must send to the CRA. Do not separate the slips when you send them with your Summary. Use pages 2, 3, and 4 to print the two copies you are giving to the recipients and the one you are keeping for your records.
Note that in some cases, copies may only appear after the form is printed.
- Before printing, check the page size of the form. Legal size forms must be printed on legal-size paper (8 1/2" x 14").
- To change the paper size, click "Properties" in your PDF Viewer and make the changes in the print dialog box.
After you have completed a form onscreen and verified its page size, print the form from your PDF Viewer.
- After you have entered and verified the data on your fillable form, print the form and sign it, if applicable.
- Before submitting your printed form, be sure to keep a copy for your records. You can make a photocopy or, if it is a "PDF fillable/saveable" form, save an electronic copy on your own computer. For more information, read the Saving fillable forms section.
- Individual forms include instructions about where to send the completed paper copy.
You can download a blank fillable form for future use:
- For example, if you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, do the following:
- On the CRA Web page that you are viewing, right-click the hyperlinked file name, click "Save Target As," and type a name for the file.
- Save the form in the directory of your choice, and then use your PDF viewer to access it.
If the form you accessed includes a "PDF fillable/saveable" link, you can save an electronic copy of your completed form. For example, if you are using Adobe Reader, from the Reader menu bar, click “File, Save as.” You can save the file in the default directory, or browse and select a different directory.
A .pdf file does not open
You clicked the link for a .pdf file and the file did not open. Adobe Reader, or equivalent software, may not be installed on your computer. Install the software and try to open the .pdf file again.
Unable to view or download a .pdf file using Adobe Reader
You cannot view, print, or download a .pdf file in Adobe Reader. To resolve this, modify your Reader PDF viewer preferences:
- Close the browser.
- Open Adobe Reader.
- From the menu bar, click Edit, Preferences, Internet.
- Under "Options," make sure that "Display PDF in Browser" is not selected. The next time you click on a link to a .pdf form or publication, it will open in a separate browser window.
Note: If you have modified your Reader preferences but you are still having problems, you can download the .pdf file onto your own computer by following these download instructions.
A .pdf does not print correctly or does not print at all
You can try to resolve the problem by printing the PDF as an image.
If you are using Adobe Reader:
- Click on the print icon. In the "Print" dialog box, click on "Advanced".
- Click to select the "Print As Image" checkbox.
- Click on "OK" to close the "Advanced Print Setup" dialog box, then click "OK" or "Print" in the "Print" dialog box.
If printing the PDF as an image does not resolve the problem, try the following:
- Make sure you are using the latest printer driver for your printer.
- Try printing to a different printer.
- Download the file again to your hard drive and print.
- Refer to your printer manual for further assistance.
Unable to use Google Chrome and Safari PDF viewers
In some cases, the PDF viewer is embedded in the browser itself. Below are solutions for resolving problems with Google Chrome and Safari viewers.
Unable to use the Google Chrome PDF viewer
The Google Chrome built-in PDF viewer may not allow you to view a PDF or access certain functionalities. To resolve this, follow these steps:
- Open Chrome and, in the address bar, type: about:plugins, and then press Enter.
- Scroll down to the Chrome PDF Viewer.
- Click the "Disable" link to prevent PDFs from loading within Chrome.
- Download the files onto your computer.
- Open them in another standalone application such as Adobe Reader.
Unable to use the Safari PDF viewer
The Safari built-in PDF viewer may not allow you to view a PDF or access certain functionalities. To resolve this, follow these steps:
- Close Safari.
- Open Terminal and type the following:
defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitOmitPDFSupport -bool YES
- Restart Safari.
- Click on a PDF to download it to the Downloads folder.