Eligible Dependent Credit

Are you eligible to claim the Eligible Dependent Credit on your Canadian taxes? For separating couples in Canada this can be a bit confusing to sort out, especially when you are in the transition stage of negotiating your Separation Agreement. While there tend to be a lot of grey areas CRA states that you can claim the Eligible Dependent Credit when the following terms exist:

You may be able to claim this amount for one other person if at any time in the year you met all of the following conditions at once:

  • You did not have a spouse or common-law partner or, if you did, you were not living with, supporting, or being supported by that person
  • You supported a dependant in 2018
  • You lived with the dependant (in most cases in Canada) in a home you maintained. You cannot claim this amount for a person who was only visiting you

In addition, at the time you met the above conditions, the dependant must also have been either:

  • your parent or grandparent by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption
  • your child, grandchild, brother, or sister, by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption and under 18 years of age or had an impairment in physical or mental functions

If your (ex)spouse is claiming the Eligible Dependent Credit for the same child, in a shared parenting plan situation, both parents would have to agree who is going to make the claim. If there is no agreement then neither can make the claim.

If you decide to live common law with a new partner and you and your common law spouse both claim for the Eligible Dependent Credit (for each of your own children) then you would have to decide who will make the claim. Each household is only allowed to make one claim. Also, if you make support payments you cannot claim the Eligible Dependent Credit. However, if you don’t claim any support payments you can claim whichever is better for you.

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