Has your marital status changed in 2014?

Whether you recently met the love of your life, brought a child into this world or ended a relationship, you need to inform the Canada Revenue Agency as it will affect the credits you receive.

You need to report a change in marital status:

  • As soon as you’re married
  • When you enter into a common law relationship

The Canada revenue agency defines a common law relationship as:

“A person who is not your spouse, with whom you are living in a conjugal relationship, and to whom at least one of the following situations applies. He or she:

  • has been living with you in a conjugal relationship, and this current relationship has lasted at least 12 continuous months
  • is the parent of your child by birth or adoption

– or has custody and control of your child (or had custody and control immediately before the child turned 19 years of age) and your child is wholly dependent on that person for support.

Note: In this definition, 12 continuous months includes any period you were separated for less than 90 days because of a breakdown in the relationship.”

Don’t get trapped in a common misperception that you are only common law after living together for 12 months, as soon as children are involved, the other situations apply. This means that you do not have the option to wait 12 months to file as common law!

If you enter into a common law relationship, you should notify CRA as soon as you satisfy one of the above definitions, don’t wait to file your income taxes!

If you don’t file a change in marital status, you may be receiving Goods and Services Tax credits, working income tax benefits or child tax benefit credits that you are not entitled to. Once you file your tax return CRA will reassess these benefits and you could have to repay a large balance. Would you rather collect the money now and have to repay it, or not have the chance to spend it in the first place?

If you were separated during the year, you need to wait at least 90 days to file a change in marital status, or the month after the month that you become divorced. But again, don’t wait until tax time as you may be entitled to more than you have been have been receiving.

If you have any questions please contact one of our professionals.



The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.

This post has been prepared for general information purposes. It is not advice. The information presented may not fit your unique situation, please consult one of our trusted business advisors at RHN CPA for further clarification and interpretation of your particular circumstances.