Like all Canadian tax slips beginning with “T4”, a T4A reports income you earned.

It’s something like a catch-all slip for income that isn’t reported on other kinds of slips, so it’s easier to list what the T4A does NOT report.

A T4A does NOT report income that:

  • you earned from a regular job where they withhold tax, CPP and EI
  • you earned from investments
  • pertains to royalties
  • is actually GST/HST charged on top of your fees

So that mostly leaves income from odd jobs, or from freelancing or self-employment.

Income on a T4A is almost never taxed at source, meaning you’re responsible for setting aside some of it for income tax. We find most of our self-employed clients end up owing 12-20% of their gross income in tax, so we recommend setting aside about 15% as a starting point.

And of course if you’re registered to charge GST/HST, that money doesn’t count as your income and isn’t reported on the T4A. You still have to set it aside so you can remit it to the government.

Information overload: Other kinds of income slips include the T3 (for trust and/or investment income), the T5 (for income from investments, interest, and/or royalties), T4E (employment insurance income), and of course the famous T4, which reports income earned at a job where you’re an employee and subject to CPP, EI, and usually tax withholding.