Live in Ontario, Work in Quebec – The taxing tale of the Quebec Releve 1 form

If you’re working on preparing your taxes, and you live in Ontario and work in Quebec (or live in any other province and work in Quebec), there’s a tax form you need to know about.

I mention this because I worked in Quebec for two years before even finding out this form existed.

Revenu Québec has a form called the Relevé 1 – Revenus d’emploi et revenus divers, the RL-1 form.

If you work in Quebec the RL-1 will contain important information, most notably income tax that has been deducted from your Quebec pay.  While you may also have a T4, the Quebec information is not on your T4.

If you don’t include the RL-1 information in your tax filing, and you had income tax deducted from your Quebec pay, you could end up unnecessarily and incorrectly paying thousands of dollars in additional taxes.

You may have questions.

The TL;DR is you need to get the RL-1 from your employer directly, and make sure you manually add the RL-1 information (after entering T4 info) into any tax preparation software or paper forms for tax filing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: I download my tax forms including the T4 from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  Won’t the RL-1 be included with that?
    A: No.
  • Q: I download TurboTax for Windows to do my taxes every year.  Won’t TurboTax automatically download the RL-1?
    A: No.
  • Q: When I say that I work in Quebec but I’m filing in Ontario, won’t TurboTax remind me to check if I have an RL-1?
    A: No.
  • Q: When I file my taxes saying that I work in Quebec but live in another province, won’t CRA detect the missing RL-1 form and notify me?
    A: No.
  • Q: If I work for the Government of Canada, won’t I get a reminder that I need to download an RL-1 form in addition to a T4?
    A: No.
  • Q: Won’t the Government of Canada’s pay system remind me to also download the RL-1 when I download my T4?
    A: No.
  • Q: Can’t I just create a Revenu Québec account and download the RL-1 form directly?
    A: No.  Only Québec residents can create a Revenu Québec account.  If you try going through your bank to authorize an account it will just fail when you enter your SIN and birthdate.
  • Q: How do taxes work if you live in one province and work in another? Which province’s taxes do you pay?
    A: You always pay the taxes for your province of residence.  e.g. if you live in Ontario but work in Quebec, you pay Ontario taxes.  The provinces have arrangements to sort out the money behind the scenes.

Summary

Get the RL-1 form from your employer.  (In addition to any T4s.)

If you work for the Government of Canada, to get the Relevé 1 in Phoenix select Self Service -> Payroll and Compensation -> View RL-1
(There is a separate menu item to download your T4s in Phoenix.)

In the download version of TurboTax, in guided tax preparation mode, when it asks the forms that you have to enter, you must manually check the Relevé 1 form option.  Then enter the T4 data first.  Then when it gets to the Relevé 1 entry you must Edit the Relevé 1 form to manually enter the missing fields (it will pre-fill some information from your T4 but the software literally has no idea what the remaining Relevé 1 values are). Most importantly, edit the RL-1 form in TurboTax to enter the amount of income tax deducted from your Québec pay.

If you need to ReFILE

If you are using TurboTax download version and have to refile taxes from previous years because your RL-1 form was missing, do not click “Change a filed return”. Click “Continue your return” and then click “Change return” under “Your Federal return” in the FILE section at the end of the guided return process.

Go back to the beginning of guided tax preparation mode, select that you have a Relevé 1 form, and then on the Relevé 1 screen, click edit to make the changes.  Then at the end of the process click ReFILE.

Disclaimer

I am not a tax preparation professional and this is not professional advice.