Government of Canada update on Phoenix pay system regarding upcoming tax season

On Wednesday, February 22, I provided an update on our progress in resolving public service pay issues, focusing on what we are doing to help public servants prepare their tax returns.

T4 and Relevé 1 slips

Employees’ 2016 tax slips were made available through Phoenix during the week of February 13. While most slips were accurate, there were two situations that required attention.

Relevé 1 tax slips for employees who live or work in Quebec were made available on February 17, but were then removed after we identified an issue related to the taxable benefits information for certain employees. As a precaution, we had decided to remove all Relevé 1 slips to ensure completeness and accuracy. The issue has been resolved, and the Relevé 1 slips are now available in Phoenix.

We also encountered issues with health benefits being added to the wrong box in T4 slips for employees who work in British Columbia. This issue is being rectified, and amended slips for these employees will also be issued shortly.

I would encourage all employees who accessed their tax slips during the week of February 13 to print out a new version to ensure that they are working from the right information.

For employees who are on leave or who have left the public service, hard copies of their tax slips will be mailed to their home address currently in Phoenix and should be received by March 6. If these employees do not receive their tax slips by this date, they should contact the Compensation Web Applications Service Desk at 1‑855‑634‑2358 or at TPSGC.AWRAIDE-CWAHELP.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

We have information available on our website to help employees verify that the earnings listed on their last paystub of 2016 match those on their tax slip.

Employees serviced by the Pay Centre who still have questions about their earnings or taxes after consulting our website can contact our Call Centre at 1‑855‑686‑4729. Our agents are ready to help employees understand their paystub information and tax slips. Employees who have more detailed questions about their earnings will be connected to a specialized support group within Public Services and Procurement Canada. If needed, employees will also be connected with experts at the Canada Revenue Agency for questions related specifically to taxes. Employees in departments not served by the Pay Centre should contact their compensation unit.

Employees can also consult the Canada Revenue Agency website for additional information on tax implications related to pay issues.

Net and gross amounts of overpayments

We have received questions from employees regarding their overpayment and the amount that will need to be repaid.

If an overpayment was registered in Phoenix in 2016, employees will have to repay the net amount of the overpayment. In other words, they will simply need to repay whatever amount of additional money they have received.

For overpayments registered in Phoenix after December 31, the recovery amount will be the gross amount of the overpayment. This means that employees will be asked to repay the additional money they received plus any deductions on the overpayment, such as taxes and benefit payments. These deductions will be credited back to employees when they file their taxes. Therefore, we will be allowing these repayments to take place after people receive their tax refunds. This will ensure that no one faces any financial penalty.

All employees in a repayment situation will be contacted and will be provided with repayment options, such as timing and installments, to minimize financial burden. No one will be out of pocket as a result of an overpayment.

Conclusion

Once again, I want to remind all employees that emergency salary advances and priority payments are available for anyone facing financial hardship, so there is no reason for any employees to go without their pay.

Thank you all for your continued patience.

Marie Lemay, P.Eng., ing.
Deputy Minister
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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