What if one person owes money but the other doesn’t?

Unfortunately, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) doesn’t let you use your tax refund to pay your spouse or common-law partner’s tax owing; but that doesn’t mean that you can’t help lower their balance in other ways. You can, for example, transfer certain non-refundable credits to your spouse so that you both end up in the best position possible. Check out the list below for a few examples of the credits that can be transferred between spouses:

Remember, if  you transfer any of these tax credits to your spouse, it will lower your refund amount.

*Beginning January 1, 2017, the Canadian government will no longer offer the education and textbook tax credits (students will still be able to claim the tuition tax credit). If you’ve got unused education and textbook credits from years prior to 2017 you’ll still be able to claim them or carry forward these amounts for use on future returns. Refer to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) website for more information regarding these changes.  

I’m filing a Québec return. Do the same rules apply?

Revenu Québec allows you to transfer some or all of your refund amount to your spouse  to reduce or eliminate their provincial tax owing. You can do this on the FINAL DETAILS page of the WRAP-UP tab:


Where can I learn more?