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To claim or not to claim your non-resident spouse on your Canadian tax return

Jan 18, 2018
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I need help. I am married to a US citizen and we have a child. He has never lived in Canada. He does not support me financially. Can I claim our child as equivalent to spouse?
 

Rob_TO

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I need help. I am married to a US citizen and we have a child. He has never lived in Canada. He does not support me financially. Can I claim our child as equivalent to spouse?
No, there are separate sections on tax returns to claim spouses or children. You will list your child under the dedicated child section.

You must still state in your taxes though you are married, and CRA needs to know your spouse's income earned in the US. This will count to your "Family" income, and used to calculate what amounts of child or tax credits/benefits you are entitled to.
 

deepak_kh3

Newbie
Apr 25, 2017
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If the spouse is non resident (less than 30 days in a year in canada) but has worldwide income say around $70000. Can declaring it in my tax return means that she has to pay tax on this income in canada?
 

Rob_TO

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If the spouse is non resident (less than 30 days in a year in canada) but has worldwide income say around $70000. Can declaring it in my tax return means that she has to pay tax on this income in canada?
What do you mean by "declare it on your tax return"?

If your spouse is not a resident for Canadian tax purposes, they won't file a Canadian tax return so won't pay any tax on their income.

If they are not living with you in Canada, and since their world income is quite high, then you can NOT claim them under the Spouse amount for extra tax credit.

If you are collecting any special tax benefits (i.e. GST/HST payments, child payments, etc) that are based on your income, then once CRA knows you're married they will ask for your spouse's world income. This is not for them to pay tax on, it's to add to your own "family income" just for purposes of calculating what tax credits/benefits you're eligible for.
 

CanadianZenGirl

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If you are collecting any special tax benefits (i.e. GST/HST payments, child payments, etc) that are based on your income, then once CRA knows you're married they will ask for your spouse's world income. This is not for them to pay tax on, it's to add to your own "family income" just for purposes of calculating what tax credits/benefits you're eligible for.
Neither my GST nor my Trillium payments changed when I married my American spouse. I actually had to send the CRA a written letter that he still lived in the USA. I was told that none of my tax benefits would reflect married status until he was a Canadian resident and we provided a SIN for him. Now, that was almost four years ago. Maybe things have changed since then. He's filing for the first time this year. Hopefully, everything will be adjusted accordingly.
 

Rob_TO

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Neither my GST nor my Trillium payments changed when I married my American spouse. I actually had to send the CRA a written letter that he still lived in the USA. I was told that none of my tax benefits would reflect married status until he was a Canadian resident and we provided a SIN for him. Now, that was almost four years ago. Maybe things have changed since then. He's filing for the first time this year. Hopefully, everything will be adjusted accordingly.
Strange as this is exactly opposite of what I've seen and are not aware of any rule changes. When some friends declared they were married to CRA (to non-residents), CRA immediately sent them a form to declare their spouse's world income. In one case I know for sure they adjusted benefit amounts based on the world income. Spouses can support you by sending money, even if they don't live in Canada and are non-residents.

Perhaps it sometimes depends on what CRA employee happens to be reviewing your case.
 

CanadianZenGirl

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Perhaps it sometimes depends on what CRA employee happens to be reviewing your case.
Could well be. I've never been terribly lucky when dealing with these people.
 

VUPtoYOW

Full Member
Jan 14, 2018
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I only want to tell CRA about my change of status (single to married) and not to claim any tax deductions, even though I send him western union transfers from time to time, would it be possible?
 

CanadianZenGirl

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I only want to tell CRA about my change of status (single to married) and not to claim any tax deductions, even though I send him western union transfers from time to time, would it be possible?
When you file your income tax return, you will have to change your status from single to married and then fill in any required information. That's all you have to do.
 

Wiz

Newbie
Apr 29, 2018
1
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Just confirming for Canadian income tax - Canadian resident, lived & worked in Canada for all of 2017
Married Nicaraguan spouse in mid 2017 (that has 2 children); spouse resides in Nicaragua and does work.
I need to change marital status, and claim spouse income, but I cannot claim the "Spouse or common-law Amount"?
Is there anyplace I need to note children of my spouse?
Thanks for your comments!
 
Last edited:

kurtrules

Star Member
May 6, 2016
61
6
What do you mean by "declare it on your tax return"?

If your spouse is not a resident for Canadian tax purposes, they won't file a Canadian tax return so won't pay any tax on their income.

If they are not living with you in Canada, and since their world income is quite high, then you can NOT claim them under the Spouse amount for extra tax credit.

If you are collecting any special tax benefits (i.e. GST/HST payments, child payments, etc) that are based on your income, then once CRA knows you're married they will ask for your spouse's world income. This is not for them to pay tax on, it's to add to your own "family income" just for purposes of calculating what tax credits/benefits you're eligible for.
Rob, I have seen your posts and you have been very helpful. We were just finishing my wife's taxes and submitting them through TaxTurbo. For her its pretty simple. Landed in Feb, returned a week later with a SIN and that's all. So did I. She returned in August and started working. For Aug to december she got a t4. I didn't come to Canada again till 2018 Jan 20th. So I am a non resident. She is filing her taxes for the time she became a resident of Canada for tax purposes. Under her T1 it states -> Spouse's income for 2017. I read the https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/t4055/t4055-newcomers-canada-2016.html and it clearly states that you HAVE to declare your spouse's income regardless of their residency status. Underneath, write their income for the time YOU were a resident of Canada. So, I put my income (as I was also earning outside Canada in 2017) for August 2017-Dec 31 2017. Wife has not claimed any spousal dependent benefits as my income is higher than 11k for that period.

I believe that is correct?
 

Rob_TO

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Rob, I have seen your posts and you have been very helpful. We were just finishing my wife's taxes and submitting them through TaxTurbo. For her its pretty simple. Landed in Feb, returned a week later with a SIN and that's all. So did I. She returned in August and started working. For Aug to december she got a t4. I didn't come to Canada again till 2018 Jan 20th. So I am a non resident. She is filing her taxes for the time she became a resident of Canada for tax purposes. Under her T1 it states -> Spouse's income for 2017. I read the https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/t4055/t4055-newcomers-canada-2016.html and it clearly states that you HAVE to declare your spouse's income regardless of their residency status. Underneath, write their income for the time YOU were a resident of Canada. So, I put my income (as I was also earning outside Canada in 2017) for August 2017-Dec 31 2017. Wife has not claimed any spousal dependent benefits as my income is higher than 11k for that period.

I believe that is correct?
I would call the CRA and ask, or to a tax accountant. As long as you were not a resident for tax purposes then while she would declare your world income it would have no effect on her own taxes anyways.
 

canuck78

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Jun 18, 2017
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Rob, I have seen your posts and you have been very helpful. We were just finishing my wife's taxes and submitting them through TaxTurbo. For her its pretty simple. Landed in Feb, returned a week later with a SIN and that's all. So did I. She returned in August and started working. For Aug to december she got a t4. I didn't come to Canada again till 2018 Jan 20th. So I am a non resident. She is filing her taxes for the time she became a resident of Canada for tax purposes. Under her T1 it states -> Spouse's income for 2017. I read the https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/t4055/t4055-newcomers-canada-2016.html and it clearly states that you HAVE to declare your spouse's income regardless of their residency status. Underneath, write their income for the time YOU were a resident of Canada. So, I put my income (as I was also earning outside Canada in 2017) for August 2017-Dec 31 2017. Wife has not claimed any spousal dependent benefits as my income is higher than 11k for that period.

I believe that is correct?
Yes that's right but have to declare that I am not a tax professional. People seem to think that if they don't live in Canada they don't have to declare world income for the period that their family is living in Canada. It is pretty clear but seems much better to leave dependents in Canada and go to a no tax or low tax country and make more money. Kids and spouses are ties to Canada:) Still many people do it. Lots of students and housewives living pretty extravagent lifestyles without any income:mad:
 

kurtrules

Star Member
May 6, 2016
61
6
I would call the CRA and ask, or to a tax accountant. As long as you were not a resident for tax purposes then while she would declare your world income it would have no effect on her own taxes anyways.
For CCB benefits, as we have a daughter of 4 years. Similar to what we declared on the RC66sch and the ITB9 - Statement of world income.

Anyhow, its done now :)
 

new335896

Star Member
Mar 5, 2018
101
36
Once you tell CRA that you're married, then they usually ask for your spouses world income. They don't usually ask for proof of it, just to state it to them.
Even though your spouse is not living in Canada, he does have a strong tie to Canada and that is you. People can be considered deemed or factual residents of Canada even if they aren't living here. CRA may want to use his world income to calculate your "family" income. He won't owe any taxes, but any credits/benefits you were getting as single, may be lowered or eliminated if they use his world income.



There are 2 scenarios possible, and only 1 requires evidence.
1. If your spouse is living with you in Canada and not working, then you can claim the max under spousal amount with no evidence or proofs required.
2, If your spouse is living outside Canada so a non-resident, then you can claim the max only with evidence of regular money transfers/receipts and proof they are not being supported by someone else in their home country.
proof they are not being supported by someone else in their home country ? how to prove that ? your answer makes no sense , yes you can prove you support them but how can you prove they are not being supported by someone else other than you tell him that . please educate yourself before copying and pasting from google .