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Common-Law Partner

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Glossary  -> Common-Law Partner / Common-Law Spouse
Income Tax Act s. 248(1)

Common-Law Partner / Common-Law Spouse

For purposes of the Income Tax Act, a common-law partner is a person (of the same or opposite sex) who lives with the taxpayer in a conjugal (marriage-like) relationship, and

     (a) has so cohabited throughout the 12-month period that ends at that time, or
     (b) is a parent of a child of whom the taxpayer is a legal parent (by birth or adoption),  or
(c) has custody and control of your child (or had custody and control immediately before the child turned 19 years of age) and your child is wholly dependent on that person for support.

Where two people have been living in a marriage-like relationship, it is considered to be continuous unless it has ceased for a period of at least 90 days due to a breakdown in the relationship.

Where two people previously lived together in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 continuous months, and then resume living together again in such a relationship, they are immediately considered common-law partners.

You must report the net income (line 236) of your spouse or common-law partner on your tax return.  The combined income of you and your spouse or common-law partner is used to determine entitlement to certain benefits, deductions and tax credits.  See the article Filing Tax Returns When You Have a Spouse, which includes information on claiming tax credits and deductions, transferring dividend income, and how to report investment income when you have a spouse.

Revised: August 19, 2018


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