Filing Information Returns Electronically (T4/T5 and other types of returns) - How to file

  1. Overview
  2. What you should know before
  3. How to file
  4. How to amend

3. How to file

File by Internet file transfer (XML)

If you use commercial software, it will automatically create your .xml file. Go directly to step 5.

If you do not use your own software, you have to create your own .xml file. Your file name must have the extension .xml.

Step 1: Get the XML specifications

If you are going to create your own software, you need the XML specifications to file an information return. To get a list of the specifications you need for each different type of return, go to Find XML specifications to file electronically.

You must include Form T619, Electronic Transmittal, along with your information returns. This identifies the person submitting the file and the number of returns submitted.

Step 2: Download the CRA schema

The XML schema defines the building blocks of an .xml file. The schemas are in .xsd format.

Schema for filing information returns

To file information returns in 2016, download the xmlschm1-16-1.zip file
(version 1.16.1, 80 KB, last updated ‎August 5, ‎2015).

After you save the .zip file on your computer, use an extracting software (for example WinZip) to extract the .xsd files. You have to extract and save all files to one location on your hard drive.

Schema for Form T550, Application for Registration of RSP's, ESP's or RIF's Under Section 146, 146.1 and 146.3 of the Income Tax Act

For Form T550, Application for Registration of RSP's, ESP's or RIF's Under Section 146, 146.1 and 146.3 of the Income Tax Act, point your parser directly to the URL of the schema to always have the most recent version.

The URL for this schema is: www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/rgstrd/rrsprrif-reerferr/layout-topologieRPD.xsd.

For more information see Filing RSP and RIF registration listings through Internet file transfer.

Step 3: Create and save your file

Create your .xml file using the specifications for the information return you are filing. Save your .xml file on your computer. Name your file with extension .xml. Note the location.

Step 4: Validate your file

To validate your file, check both the format and content of an .xml file against our schema files using a validating parser. You can download validating parsers from the Internet. The software is not provided or supported by the CRA. If you have questions, ask the software companies that created the validating parser.

  1. Launch the validating parser
  2. Include in the parser the path to the schema files you saved
  3. Follow the instructions in the parser to locate and open your .xml file
  4. Correct all errors the parser finds and re-validate
  5. Change the schema path in Form T619 to xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="layout-topologie.xsd"> before sending your .xml file to the CRA

Step 5: Use the Internet file transfer (XML) application

To use the Internet file transfer (XML) application, log in using

Start Internet file transfer (XML)

File using Web Forms

Web Forms is ideal for smaller returns, up to 100 slips.

Use the Web Forms application to

  • file original, additional, amended, and cancelled slips directly from the CRA website
  • create an electronic information return
  • validate data in real time, with prompts to correct errors before filing your slips
  • calculate the totals for the summary
  • save and import information
  • print slips for recipients
  • send encrypted returns over the Internet

To use Web Forms, log in using

Start Web Forms

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