What is a T1 General Form?

The T1 General Form is also called the Income Tax and Benefit Return. It is the document used by Canadians to file their personal income taxes. The form is a summary of all the other forms you complete for your income taxes and is made up of your provincial or territorial tax (except for Quebec), your total income, your net income, your tax payable, your deductions, your non-refundable credits, and more.  When you file your taxes, this form is used to apply for benefits like the Canada Child Benefit, or refundable credits, such as the GST/HST tax credit.

You may not recognize the name of the form because when you’re using TurboTax to complete your income taxes, it fills out the form for you, without you actually having to print off the paper form and fill it out.

How to Get a Copy of your T1 General from a Past Tax Year?

You filled out a T1 General Form for every year you submitted taxes. You can find a copy of your submitted T1 General if you have registered for a CRA My Account. Your account should have the records of T1 General for the current year and the past 11 years that you filed under the tax returns view section. Anything older, you will need to contact the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281 to request a copy.

If you used TurboTax to file your taxes for the year that you need, you simply log onto your TurboTax portal and access the return for the year you are interested in.

How to Get a Blank T1 General Form for 2020 or Past Tax Years?

You may also need a blank T1 form for 2020 or for any past year if you missed a filing a tax return. If you use TurboTax, you do not need to directly access a T1 General form in order to file your taxes; the program will fill out the form for you based on the information you provide. The software will automatically choose the right provincial or territorial tax forms you need.  For prior year returns, TurboTax Online is available for the current tax year and the two preceding tax years.  If you are using TurboTax Desktop, you can access up to the past five years of returns so you can catch up on filing.  When you are more than a few years behind, it is highly recommended that you contact the CRA directly and speak to them about Voluntary Disclosure and making plans for submissions.

If you instead file your taxes without the use of software, you will need to get the right T1 General form for each year you need to file from the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) website. Currently, you can access copies going back to 1985 and you can access those forms here: CRA – Tax packages for all years. You need to choose the correct form for the tax year you are filing for, as well as the province or territory you lived in. The federal and provincial or territorial governments both have their own section in the T1 Form to calculate their respective taxes. If you choose the wrong version of the form, you will end up submitting the wrong information.

If you lived in Ontario and are filing for the 2020 tax year, you should look for the most current Ontario version of the T1 General Form. If you lived in Alberta and are filing for the 2016 tax year, you’ll need to find the 2016 version of Alberta’s T1 General Form. Remember that the tax forms are named for the year they refer to, not to the current year. Each year has different rates and calculations which is why it is important to use the form for that year.

Why Might You Need a copy of your T1 General Form?

Employed individuals can use a T1 General Form to prove their tax situation and income. You might be requested to provide your T1 General Form when you are applying to get a mortgage or other major credit purchases.

What If You Made or See a Mistake on Your T1 General Form?

Mistakes happen to the best of us. If you notice a mistake on your T1 General Form and you have not yet submitted it, you simply need to fill out a new version of the form or input new information into your tax software to correct the mistake. If you have noticed a mistake after you’ve sent your taxes, you should notify the CRA immediately. If you do not notice a mistake until 90 days after you have received your assessment, you may not be able to change it. However, you can contact the CRA to advise you directly.

You may be advised to make an adjustment or amendment to that particular tax return, or even ReFile it using your tax software. The CRA will then process a reassessment to that particular tax year and depending on the situation, you may receive a refund cheque or have to pay back an amount.

For Quebec residents; If you need to amend your provincial return, please click here for instructions directly from Revenu Quebec.

If you have made a mistake on your return, you should also be aware of the Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP)  This program gives you a second chance to correct a tax return you previously filed or to file a return that you should have filed. If you file a VDP application and it is accepted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) you will have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest in part or in full. However, you would be eligible for relief from prosecution and, in some cases, from penalties that you would otherwise be required to pay.