What was your marital status on December 31?

Your marital status indicates whether you’re single, married, divorced, separated, widowed, or in a common-law relationship. Your marital status on December 31 determines how our Tax Expert prepares your taxes for the year (individually or with your spouse or common-law partner) and the benefits to which you’re entitled.

Marital status - definitions
Use the following definitions to help you select your marital status.

You’re single if you’ve never been married and none of the other options listed below apply.

You’re married if you’re legally married. Please note, you’re still considered married if you were living apart for reasons other than a breakdown of your relationship.

You’re common-law if you're living in a conjugal relationship with someone to whom you're not legally married. Additionally, one of these situations must apply to the person you're in a relationship with:

  • He or 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 or she is the parent of your child (by birth or by adoption)
  • He or she has custody and control of your child (or had custody and control immediately before your child turned 19) and your child is dependent on that person for support.

You’re divorced if you finalized the divorce process and haven't remarried or established a common-law relationship.

You’re separated if you've lived 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 haven’t reconciled. If you've separated, don't notify the CRA until the separation lasts for more than 90 consecutive days. Periods of separation that are less than 90 consecutive days don't change your marital status for the CRA’s purposes.

You’re widowed if your spouse or common-law partner has died and you haven't remarried or established a common-law relationship.


My marital status changed during the year
If your marital status changed during the year, you must inform the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and/or Revenu Québec. Keeping your marital status up to date with the appropriate agency allows us to maximize the benefits that you’re entitled to (such as the GST/HST credit, working income tax benefit (WITB), and Canada child benefit). It could also prevent any incorrect claims from being made that could result in you having to give money back to the CRA or to Revenu Québec.