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Your marital status indicates whether you are single, married, divorced, separated, widowed, or in a common-law relationship.
Keeping your marital status up to date allows you to maximize any claims to which you're entitled. It could also prevent any improper claims being made that might result in you having to give money back to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or to Revenu Québec.
Entitlement to government benefits is determined by your marital status and net family income based on your marital status, as well as the number of children you have and their ages and province of residency. Government benefits include:
- GST/HST credit
- Canada child tax benefit (CCTB)
- Working income tax benefit (WITB) advance payments
Note: If your marital status changed during the year, you must notify the appropriate government agency.
CRA: You must notify CRA by the end of the month following the month your marital status changed, except in the case of separation. For example, if your marital status changed in August 2015, you must notify the CRA no later than September 30, 2015. If you're separated, wait until the separation has lasted for at least 90 days before notifying the CRA of the change. Click this link for more information on notifying the CRA of a change in your marital status.
Revenu Québec: You must report a change in your marital status at the end of the month following the month it changes, except in the case of separation.
- If you're separated, you must wait until the separation lasts for at least 90 days before notifying Revenu Québec or RRQ of the change.
- If you receive child assistance payments, contact RRQ at 1-800 667-9625 or use their Change in Conjugal Status online service to report a change in your marital status.
- If you receive the Solidarity tax credit, notify Revenu Québec of a change in your marital status by mailing a completed form TP-1029.CS.3-V: Notice of Change in Situation: Solidarity Tax Credit or using their Give Notification of a Change in Situation: Solidarity Tax Credit online service.
You must provide your marital status in order to ensure that you are receiving the benefits to which you are entitled. Select one the options listed in the H&R Block Tax Software to indicate your marital status:
- Single status applies when none of the other options listed below apply.
- Married status applies to all taxpayers who are legally married, whether their spouse is of the same or opposite sex.
Note: You still have a spouse even if you were living apart for reasons other than a breakdown of your relationship. For example, Bob works out of town for 14 days, at the end of which he comes home for two days. This cycle repeats over and over. Bob is still married because the separation isn't due to a breakdown of the relationship.
- Common-law status applies if you're living in a conjugal relationship with someone to whom you're not legally married. In addition, one of these situations has to apply to the person you're in the relationship with:
- He/she has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months (this can include any periods you were separated for less than 90 days because of a breakdown in your relationship).
- He/she is the parent of your child, by birth or adoption.
- He/she has custody and control of your child (or had custody and control immediately before your child turned 19) and your child is wholly dependent on that person for support.
- Divorced status applies if, before or during the tax year, you finalized the divorce process and haven't remarried or established a common-law relationship.
- Separated is when you've lived separate and apart from your spouse or common-law partner for a period of 90 days or more because of a breakdown of your relationship and you have not reconciled. If you've separated, don't notify the CRA until the separation lasts for more than 90 consecutive days. Periods of separation less than 90 consecutive days don't change your marital status for the CRA purposes. Separation may be formalized by a court order or written agreement created informally or with legal guidance. Once you are separated for at least 90 consecutive days due to a breakdown of your relationship, the effective day of your separated status is the day you started living separate and apart. If you both continue to occupy the same address, the CRA doesn't accept the designation of separated for Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and GST/HST credit purposes.
- Widowed status applies to you if your spouse or common-law partner has died and you haven't remarried or established a common-law relationship.
Note: If you receive your benefits by direct deposit, you should review your banking information with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to prevent your benefits from being deposited into the wrong bank account, for example, a joint account you no longer have.
- Marital status - Questions and Answers (CRA website)
- Marital status (CRA website)
- Change in conjugal status (Retraite Québec website)