On December 31, 2017, were you living apart from your spouse or common-law partner for medical reasons?

If you lived apart from your spouse or common-law partner during the year for medical reasons, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) doesn’t consider you to be separated for income tax purposes – meaning you must file your taxes as a couple. You’re only considered separated from your spouse if you live apart for 90 days or more due to a breakdown of the relationship.

The CRA uses your and your spouse’s combined income to calculate certain credits and benefits such as the:

  • GST/HST credit
  • Canada child benefit
  • Working income tax benefit (WITB)

If you enter an incorrect marital status on your return, you could lose out on the benefits you’re entitled to or you might have to pay back the government any difference in benefit amounts that were based on your incorrect marital status. 

Are you a resident of British Columbia, New Brunswick, or Manitoba?

If you’re a resident of British Columbia or New Brunswick and if, as of December 31, you and your spouse lived separately for medical reasons for 90 days or more, both of you can claim the Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit.

If you’re a resident of Manitoba, and you and your spouse lived separately at the end of the year or for part of the year due to medical reasons, both of you can claim the refundable Personal Tax Credit. If you’re claiming your spouse as a dependant, or if he or she transferred their Age or Disability amount to you, you have to claim the Personal Tax Credit for the both of you.

Where can I learn more?