The Canada Revenue Agency treats a person as separated if they have lived separate and apart for at least 90 days. The effective date of your separation is the first day you started living separate and apart.
The ombudsman has identified many issues with the treatment of separation by the Canada Revenue Agency. These were listed in a report from the ombudsman.
To confirm you are separated the Canada Revenue Agency may ask for any of the following as proof of your separation:
- documents to support your current address such as:
- property tax bills
- mortgage papers
- letter from the landlord
- rental or lease agreement
- insurance policies
- utility bills (gas, electricity, cable television)
- employer medical or dental plan
- registered retirement savings or employment pension plan naming the beneficiary for the period under review
- driver''s license and vehicle registration (front and back)
- other bills (telephone, cell phone) or letters (with letterhead) that show the residential addresses
- letters from two different third parties with the following information:
- the name and signature of the writer
- the profession of the writer
- the writer's contact information, including address and telephone number
- the writer has personal knowledge that the recipient did not live with the other individual during the period of separation
- period(s) of separation
- a separation agreement or divorce decree, if it shows different addresses for you and your former spouse or common-law partner, covering the period under review
Examples of third parties who can write the letter:
- your employer
- social worker
- school authorities
- band council
- insurance company
- bank manager or officer with financial signing authority
- medical doctor
- notary (only in the province of Quebec)
- post master
CCTB and GST/HST Credit
When you separate there are potential tax implications if you have children. If you have a joint custody arrangement the payment will be split equally between you and your partner. If you or your partner have sole custody only the parent with custody will be eligible to claim any potential child tax benefits.
If you are only separated but not yet legally divorced the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will treat you as married until you have lived separate and apart from your partner for at least 90 days. Once you have lived separate and apart for at least 90 days you should notify CRA of your change in marital status using form RC65.
The effective date of your separation is the day you commenced living separate and apart - not 90 days after you began living separate and apart.
If you have separated but continue to live in the same household and share parenting and financial responsibilities CRA will not consider you and your partner separated for the purposes of the Canada Child Tax Benefit or the GST/HST tax credits.
For information about the Canada Child Tax Benefit you can call the Canada Revenue Agency at: 1-800-387-1193. It is recommended that you call in the morning for the fastest service.
For more information about the GST/HST credit you can call the Canada Revenue Agency at: 1-800-959-1953. It is recommended that you call in the morning for the fastest service.
Once your divorce has been finalized, the Canada Revenue Agency requires you to notify them within 30 days. They may require you to provide proof at some point in the future. it is recommended that you keep proof of your divorce on hand indefinitely in the event that CRA makes a request for additional information.