There are two benefits to keeping your marital status up to date with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Revenu Québec. First, doing so allows you to maximize any claims you’re entitled to receive. It also helps to prevent any incorrect claims from being made that might result in you having to pay money back to the government.
If you’re a Canadian resident living outside of Québec, a change in your marital status could very well impact any of the following credits or benefits you receive:
- GST/HST credit
- Canada child benefit (CCB)* and
- Working income tax benefit (WITB)
*The CCB has replaced the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB) as of July 1, 2016.
If your marital status changes, the CRA will recalculate your benefits based on, among other things, your revised net family income. If you typically receive these benefits from the government by direct deposit, it might also be a good idea to review the banking information the CRA has on file to avoid payments going into the wrong bank account.
Like the rest of Canada, certain benefits received by residents of Québec can also be impacted by a change in marital status including:
- Child assistance payments and
- Solidarity tax credit
When do I have to report a change in my marital status?
Both the CRA and Revenu Québec require that you inform them of a change in your marital status by the end of the month following the month it changes, except in the case of a separation. For example, if your marital status changes in August 2016, you’ll have to let the CRA/Revenu Québec know no later than September 30, 2016. If you’re separated, you have to wait until the separation lasts for at least 90 days before letting the CRA/Revenu Québec know.
How do I let the CRA know my marital status has changed?
You can inform the CRA of a change in your status by one of the following methods:
- Login to the CRA’s My Account service, then click the Change my marital status link under the Personal information tab:
- Call 1-800-387-1193 to speak to a CRA representative or
- Complete and mail-in form RC65: Marital Status Change to the tax centre that assesses your return
How do I let Revenu Québec know my marital status has changed?
Depending on the benefits you receive, there are different ways to contact Revenu Québec. For example, if you receive child assistance payments, you’ll need to contact Retraite Québec by calling
1-800-667-9625. You can also use their Change in Conjugal Status form online.
If you receive the Solidarity tax credit, you can notify Revenu Québec by submitting a completed TP-1029.CS.3-V: Notice of Change in Situation: Solidarity Tax Credit.
Note: Once you’ve indicated your marital status* on the Your family page of H&R Block’s tax software, you won’t be able to change your selection, even if it was made accidentally. For example, if you initially indicated that you were single on December 31, 2016 but then learned that since you moved in with your significant other in June, the CRA considers you to be in a common-law relationship for tax purposes. If that’s the case, you won’t be able to change your selection; you’ll need to start a new return.
*If you indicated that your marital status was single, separated, divorced, or widowed, you won’t be able to change it once you’ve completed the GET STARTED section of your return. If you indicated that your marital status was married or common-law relationship, you won’t be able to change it once you complete the Preparing your returns page.