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Spouse in the US - Updating marital status and tax filing

maverick_bigapple

Full Member
Jul 6, 2015
20
1
Hi all,

I moved to Canada as a Permanent Resident in 2018, and, have filed taxes for 2018 and 2019 as a single filer. However, I got married earlier this year (2020), and, had a few questions that follow:

(i) Considering that my spouse lives in the US and is a US citizen, do I need to report her US income in my tax filing for the 2020 fiscal year? Also, are there any benefits in a joint filing vs two individual filings? (PS: She doesn't have a SIN, and, we plan to live in the US eventually)
(ii) I believe I can update my marital status on CRA's website. Is there any other authority that I need to inform/update my status with (from a tax perspective)? Does updating my status having any bearing on the tax withholding? Are there any implications on my immigration status if I don't update my marital status with the CRA?
(iii) Considering that my spouse will not be moving to Canada, and, we will be living apart till I make the move to the US, do we need to file jointly?
(iv) Lastly, are there any members here that are in a similar situation, or, any tax professionals that you could recommend?


Many thanks,
NK
 

canuck_in_uk

VIP Member
May 4, 2012
31,633
7,065
Visa Office......
London
App. Filed.......
06/12
Hi all,

I moved to Canada as a Permanent Resident in 2018, and, have filed taxes for 2018 and 2019 as a single filer. However, I got married earlier this year (2020), and, had a few questions that follow:

(i) Considering that my spouse lives in the US and is a US citizen, do I need to report her US income in my tax filing for the 2020 fiscal year? Also, are there any benefits in a joint filing vs two individual filings? (PS: She doesn't have a SIN, and, we plan to live in the US eventually)
(ii) I believe I can update my marital status on CRA's website. Is there any other authority that I need to inform/update my status with (from a tax perspective)? Does updating my status having any bearing on the tax withholding? Are there any implications on my immigration status if I don't update my marital status with the CRA?
(iii) Considering that my spouse will not be moving to Canada, and, we will be living apart till I make the move to the US, do we need to file jointly?
(iv) Lastly, are there any members here that are in a similar situation, or, any tax professionals that you could recommend?


Many thanks,
NK
1. Yes, you need to declare your spouse's foreign income, as benefits/credits are calculated based on family income. There is no joint filing in Canada.

2. For taxes, you just update CRA. It has nothing to do with tax withholding. There are no implications on your immigration status if you fail to update your status but if failing to update means that you receive money you weren't entitled to, that's fraud. Don't screw with CRA.

3. Again, no joint filing. Your spouse is likely a tax resident of the US, not Canada.