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Transmitter Name Contains Invalid Characters

ummm… our legal business name happens to include an ampersand (&) character.

When preparing something like a T5018 (and presumably T4’s, T5’s etc) Taxcycle gives me a yellow diagnostic message that says “Transmitter Name exceeds 30 characters or contains invalid characters”

It doesn’t seem to be a message that I can “sign off” and if I go into “Options—>Review” that particular box is greyed out.

We also happen to be the mailing address for the majority of our clients… so I also get this same message in the address line. “Address exceeds 30 characters or contains invalid characters” since the first line of the client’s address reads something like c/o Snoplowguy & Associates.

I have not had a problem efiling T-slips in prior years using our old software and using our legal business name as the preparer, or with our name as a c/o entry in the mailing address. We also have a few clients with business names over 30 characters and for years their slips have efiled fine.

Is there anything I can do here?

Hmm, I thought they had changed this. I have been talking to Cameron to allow these characters for sometime since our history is CRA does not care if the “&” is uploaded despite Taxcycle’s interpretation of the so called rules


We’ll make some changes here, but I’ll give you a long answer to help everyone understand why we’re cautious with the rules on slip filing. Based on CRA rules, only alpha numeric characters are allowed, as documented here:

However, as @James1 notes, CRAs practices don’t always match the rules that they publish. We will change the way it works so you’ll get a warning that you can ignore or disable, and we’ll then allow the special character.

I know the rules around slip filing can be frustrating, and these rules are even more frustrating for us. There is absolutely no certification process for slip filing. If there is an error in an xml slip file, we only find out after someone files unsuccessfully. Even then, that failure is not an automatic process… it sometimes happens a day or two after the file is appears to be accepted by the CRA website. Given the files involved for late filings, we’re reluctant to relax the rules.

Regardless, we’ll rely on the experience of you and @James1, and allow the characters (but with a little warning you can sign off or disable).


Thanks for the feedback.

~ Cameron

That sounds very good to me Cameron… it sure beats the alternative of having to change the name of my firm. :wink:

Since every single T-slip (T4, T5, T5018 etc) xml file transmitted from this office will contain a non-alpha numeric character I should be able to report back to you if they ever implement their policy of not allowing the “&” symbol as a special character. Once that does happen I would be happy to let you know, and then I would do whatever is necessary on my end to make sure my firm name conforms to CRA practices.

I mentioned that we are the mailing address for many of our clients, meaning our business name is shown as a C/O in the first line of their address. In all documents (Source Deduction forms, Corporate Notices of Assessment, HST returns) the CRA properly includes our firm’s “&” sign in the address printed on the form.

As far as the 30 character name length limit goes, it seems to me that the transmission is allowed with names greater than 30 characters, however, they just trunc the name at 30 and ignore anything after that. I have at least 4 corporations with names longer than 30 characters and their slips (T4, T5, T5018) do netfile without any issues for at least 6 years.

The other thing that I will fix from my end in the T-slips modules is that Taxcycle doesn’t like commas in the the client’s address. For instance the comma between the Street and the RR 1 causes a diagnostic warning of invalid characters.

1950 Niagara Street, RR 1
Some Town

I will go through all of my files and remove any and all commas in the address lines.

Once again, thank you for such a quick reply and for attending to this before T-slip filing season.

actually, they are suppose to put on line 2

Transmitter name - line 1
-Required 30 alphanumeric
Transmitter name – line 2
** - 30 alphanumeric**
** - If the transmitter name is more than 30 alphanumeric characters, enter the remaining characters on this line.**

The comma issue should not be a problem as well but …

We’re going to deal with all the issues raised. Working through them now and will provide an update shortly.

Thanks for the feedback.

~ Cameron

@james1 yes, I agree with your comment that anything over 30 characters is supposed to be entered on the line below. I’m not sure if this was something the user was to do or something in the software. If it was to be taken care of by the software then it seems that Profile likely cut some corners and just truncated the name at 30 characters while ignoring anything after that. XML files will open in a web browser and if I look at any of my old submissions using Profile the Business Name of the client simply ends at the 30th character with no second line.

Interestingly enough… while playing around with this in Taxcycle it does seem that Taxcycle allows both special characters and names over 30 characters for the “client’s name” in the Return Information Section. Just not in the client’s address or the preparer’s name.

Thanks for attending to this Cameron,

I internet filed a set of T5018 slips today (May year end due by November 30th). It was a bit of a challenge to get Taxcycle to the point where it would allow me to transmit the slips.

I had 2 issues with this client that were blocking me from getting to the Transmission Dialog

The first problem is the client’s name is 32 characters long and contains an “&” sign.

The 2nd issue, as previously discussed, was my firm name also contains an “&” sign.

If I shorten the client’s name to less than 30 characters the T5018 slips don’t look very nice (they contain a shortened name).

What I did to file the T5018 slips was shorten the client’s name to

change my firm name to
Snowplowguy and Associates

Taxcyle would then allow me to file the T5018 slips.

After I filed the slips, I changed the client’s name back to his proper name, and changed my name back to my proper name. I then printed the slips for the file and for the client.

At very least I would like to be able to sign off on these diagnostics instead of having to change legal names to get the submission through.

Also, does Taxcycle save the XML transmission file somewhere, or does it delete the file upon transmissioin? I would like to see what was transmitted in this case.

I will keep checking the Rep a Client for this client to see if the T5018 submission shows up in their file.

< edit > The T5018 Submission has arrived in the Client’s file < /edit >

You can get a copy of the xml file from the file history. We keep it with the file, and you can click on the “save xml” icon in the file history if you ever want to review it.

With regards the invalid characters, we are reviewing these this week, along with the other items you mentioned. We’re planning to do an update very soon.

~ Cameron

As you can tell, I still have much to learn… but I’ve gone all in now so its sink or swim… :slight_smile:

How or where would I find the “file history”?

with file open, go to /file/history


With file open, Click on “File”, then “Info”, then “History”. I’ve highlighted the hotspots with a red pen…

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Thank you kind sirs

and like magic … It appeared right in front of my eyes.
After which, I was able to save and view the XML transmission. :slight_smile:

@snoplowguy -

Can you review the allowed / invalid characters for XML submissions in the latest release please? We’ve made some changes which will hopefully address this issue.


~ Cameron

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Wow… that was quick.
Thanks for the software update Cam.

I installed it and it is getting much closer.

Fixed: Invalid characters “&” in the client’s name and the transmitter’s name in all modules that I checked (T4, T5, T5018)

Still an issue:

  • Names greater than 30 characters in the following modules not being allowed, and not able to sign off: T5, T5018
    Your T4 module allows names over 30 characters without any flags or problems

  • Invalid characters “&” not being allowed in the client’s address in T4, T5, and T5018
    We are the mailing address for most of our clients, so the address is as follows;

    Harry Whizpoppit Limited
    c/o Snoplowguy & company
    123 Third Street
    Hogwarts, Ontario
    L2L 2L2

Taxcycle still doesn’t like the “&” in the care of line. Oddly enough, Taxcycle does not consider the slash to be an invalid character, so the C/O is ok. It is just the “&” in the address that still offends. Unfortunately, Taxcycle doesn’t allow this diagnostic to be signed off.