At any time in 2016, did you separate from your spouse or common-law partner, but then reconciled?

Though this might seem like personal information you’d rather not share, your answer to this question helps the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) figure out whether you qualify for certain benefits. For example, if you were separated on December 31 and you lived alone for 90 days or more, you won’t be able to claim transfer amounts from your spouse or common-law partner. The CRA will also have to recalculate any spousal benefits you’d normally get due to the change in your marital status.

On the other hand, if you and your spouse lived separately for less than 90 days and then got back together, your time apart does not have any tax implications, and you’ll be able to file your returns together as you would any other year.

For those in a common-law relationship, the rules are slightly different. If you and your partner were separated for 90 days or more and then reconciled, the CRA no longer considers you to be in a common-law relationship. To once again be common-law, you and your partner will have to live together for a period of 12 consecutive months.

Where can I learn more?