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Common-law partner non-resident, but I've filed as a resident?

Discussion in 'Canadian Finance and Taxation' started by ashpash22, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Hello,

    I am hoping to get some help with my taxes. I am on a two-year working holiday visa in Australia, because I left possessions, have a leave from a workplace, intend to return to Canada, bank accounts, and a place to live still in Canada, last year I continued to file as a Resident in Canada as I had not earned any money in Australia for 2016 anyway. I was eligible for HST/GST credit last year which I got all year, but as of November 2017, I became Common-Law with my Australian partner here in Australia so was emailed to say I was no longer eligible for this credit and needed to repay. He had previously lived in Canada on a Working Holiday Visa and in 2014 and 2015 filed as a resident (because he was hoping to stay long term) but then we chose to leave in 2016 with intentions to return in 2018/2019. So when I updated my common-law status online with the CRA, they emailed to say I am no longer eligible for a GST credit and I now owe money because they don't have a 2016 tax return for my common-law partner. He did not file last year because he was no longer a resident of Canada and did not make any money in Canada in 2016 so it would have made no sense but I don't think he's updated his info with the CRA that he has left Canada and is no longer a resident, but if he had, would I still be eligible for the GST credit? But I'm just very confused about what we should do, as he intends to return by next year so if he has to update to say he is no longer a resident will he have to pay taxes for leaving? Or what is the process for changing to a non-resident? The thing is he will be a resident again in a year when he gets his Canadian PR. I'm fine with just paying back the money and not getting any credit this year either, but I just want to make sure we're going about it the right way.
    I'm going to file again as a resident for this year, as I intend to return and make money in Canada for the 2018 tax year. But in 2017 I did not make any money in Canada and now have a Common-Law partner outside of Canada, will they look into it as a possible non-resident when I file this year? Also, because of the tax treaty with Australia and Canada, I shouldn't have to pay tax again on my Australian income correct? I've filed as a resident here as their rules about residency are different as well. Is that an issue?
    Sorry for a lot of complicated questions, hopefully, someone can make sense of it.
  2. The reason why you have to pay back GST/HST credit is because due to your change in martial status. Since you change your status to common law, your family income (you and your partner total) has gone up. CRA doesn't know that your partner didn't make money in 2016 therefore what they usually do is to estimate the amount of income he made in 2016. GST/HST credit calculated based on family income.

    You can file a nil return with zero income for you and your partner for 2017. And yes income earned in Australia doesn't need to pay Canadian Taxes due to the tax treaty.

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