Ads keep this website free for you. does not research or endorse any product or service appearing in ads on this site.  Before making a major financial decision you  should consult a qualified professional.

Spouse or Common-Law Partner Amount Tax Credit
Canadian Tax and
Financial Information Home

What's New

Links & Resources

Site Map

Need an accounting, tax or financial advisor? Look in our Directory.  Use above search box to easily find your topic!   Stay Connected with!


Home  ->  Filing Your Return -> Spouse or Common-Law Partner Amount

Line 30300 Spouse or Common-Law Partner Amount (Spousal Amount)

Note: Before tax year 2019, line 30300 was line 303.

Income Tax Act s. 118(1)B(a), s. 251(2) s. 251(6)

How the Spousal Amount Tax Credit is Calculated

Supporting Your Spouse

Canada Caregiver Amount

Separated or Divorced

Involuntary Separation

Spouse's Canadian Dividends Claimed by Taxpayer

Non-Resident Spouse Resources

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resources

How the Spousal Amount Tax Credit is Calculated

The following is regarding 2020 and subsequent taxation years.

If, at any time in the year, you supported your spouse or common-law partner, you can claim a spousal amount, depending on the amount of the spouse's income (line 23600, line 236 prior to 2019).  The spousal amount that can be claimed will be the Basic Personal Amount (BPA) of the supporting taxpayer, which for 2023 is a minimum of $13,520 and a maximum of $15,000 ($14,156 and $15,705 for 2024), less the net income of the spouse.

To summarize, the spousal amount tax credit is:

bullet Taxpayer basic personal amount (not spouse basic personal amount)
bullet Plus Canada caregiver amount (if eligible)
bullet Less spouse net income

If there is no spouse or common-law partner, an eligible dependant / equivalent to spouse tax credit (line 30400) may be claimed for a dependant relative, calculated in the same way as the spousal amount but using the net income of the dependant relative instead of the net income of the spouse.

See the tables of non-refundable tax credits for the provincial amounts and tax rates of this tax credit, which also show the spousal amounts for each province and territory.  The amount is reduced by any net income of the spouse.  See Nova Scotia Spousal Amount for an additional tax credit for 2018 and later years.

Supporting Your Spouse

What does "supported your spouse" mean? Generally, the higher-income spouse is considered to be supporting the lower-income spouse, so can claim the spousal amount.  However, the credit is reduced by the income of the lower-income spouse.

The spouse or common-law partner amount

bullet is a non-refundable tax credit
bullet is reduced by income earned by the spouse or common-law partner
bullet can be claimed by only one person for the spouse or common-law partner

When completing your tax return, it is necessary to indicate if you have a spouse or common-law partner.  If you are filing using tax software and not doing your returns together, you will indicate the amount of the spouse's net income on your return.  If your spouse has no income, they should still file a tax return to be eligible for certain benefits.

You have a spouse if you are legally married.  See the definition of common-law partner.

Canada Caregiver Amount

If the spouse or common-law partner is dependent on the individual by reason of mental or physical infirmity, the Canada caregiver amount will increase the spousal amount by $2,499 for 2023 ($2,616 for 2024).

Separated or Divorced

Where you and your spouse are living apart at the end of the year because of a breakdown in the relationship, and the breakdown occurred during the year, only the income for the period of the year prior to the breakdown is included in income for the calculation of the spousal amount tax credit.  In all other cases, the income of the spouse for the entire taxation year must be used in calculating the tax credit.

If you separated during the year due to a breakdown in your relationship, and you were separated for only part of the year, you can claim either:

bullet deductible support amounts paid in the year to your spouse, or
bulletline 30300 spousal amount

You cannot claim both of these amounts.

If you are claiming the spousal amount, the income you report for your spouse will be their net income prior to the separation.

If you and your spouse have a dependent child, only one of you can make an eligible dependant claim for the child.  If you claim a spousal amount, or support payments for the child, you are not able to claim an eligible dependant amount.

Involuntary Separation

You can still claim this credit if you and your spouse were involuntarily separated, or living apart for reasons other than a breakdown in your relationship.  An involuntary separation would include one spouse being away for work, school, health reasons, or incarceration.

If you and your spouse or common-law partner were separated for only part of the year due to a breakdown in your relationship, you can still claim this tax credit, as long as you do not claim any support amounts paid to your spouse.

Spouse's Canadian Dividends Claimed by Taxpayer

ITA s. 82(3)

A taxpayer who is entitled to the spousal tax credit for his/her spouse or common-law partner may elect to include all of the spouse's dividends from taxable Canadian corporations in his/her income.  This option is only available if doing so will allow the taxpayer to claim, or increase the claim, for the spousal tax credit.  See our article on the Spousal Dividend Transfer.  The election is done simply by including the spouse's dividends on the taxpayer's tax return instead of on the spouse's tax return.

See the information for Line 12000 (line 120 prior to 2019) in the General Income Tax Guide.

Non-Resident Spouse

You can also claim this credit if your spouse or common-law partner is a non-resident of Canada, if you are not living apart due to a breakdown in your relationship.  Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) IT513R Personal Tax Credits (archived) indicates that it is necessary that the non-resident person be supported by or be dependent on you for support.  If the non-resident spouse has enough income or assistance for a reasonable standard of living in the country in which they live, they are not considered to be supported by you or to be dependent on you for support.  Gifts which merely enhance or supplement the already adequate lifestyle of the non-resident person do not constitute support.

To determine if the non-resident spouse is being supported by you, the CRA will consider:

bulletthe income of the spouse;
bulletany support provided to the spouse by government agencies of the country in which such person resides, such as pensions, medicare, housing, etc.;
bulletthe cost of living in the particular country and the ability of the spouse to provide self-support; and
bulletany support provided to the spouse by other persons

To support a spousal tax credit claim for a non-resident spouse, you must provide with your income tax return proof of the amounts contributed as support.  This would usually include receipts for post office or bank money orders, cancelled cheques that were payable to and negotiated by the spouse, or receipts from private agencies established for the purpose of transferring money or goods to residents of other countries.

To determine if the non-resident spouse has to pay tax in Canada, see our article on Who pays tax in Canada?

If you are filing your tax return using tax software and you have a non-resident spouse, this should not be a problem.  You will indicate on your return that you are married, but do not try to "couple" your return with your spouse's return.  This can normally only be done if you both reside in the same province.  If your non-resident spouse has to file a Canadian tax return, it will have to be done separately.  When the returns are not coupled, there is no need to enter a social insurance number (SIN) for the spouse. Resources

Canadian Tax Calculator - includes the calculation of the spousal tax credit.

Other tax credits that may be available for someone living with you:

Canada caregiver amount tax credit - federal, BC, ON, YT - replaces old caregiver credits for 2017 and later years.

Caregiver amount tax credit (provincial/territorial except BC, ON, YT) - this tax credit may be available if a parent or grandparent lives with you, even if they are not infirm, and not your dependant, or if another dependent relative lives with you.  This was the federal/provincial/territorial credit prior to 2017.

Medical expense tax credit for other eligible dependents (Line 33199 (line 331 prior to 2019)

Disability tax credit (Line 31800, line 318 prior to 2019)

See also:

Tables of non-refundable tax credits for the amount of this tax credit federally and provincially.

Links to all information on related to persons with disabilities.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resources

Line 30300 (line 303 prior to 2019) - Spousal amount

Marital status

Folio S1-F4-C2, Basic Personal and Dependant Tax Credits - 2017 and subsequent tax years

Folio S1-F4-C1, Basic Personal and Dependant Tax Credits - 2016 and earlier tax years

Revised: January 25, 2024



Copyright © 2002 Boat Harbour Investments Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  See Reproduction of information from

Facebook  | Twitter  |  See What’s New, stay connected with by RSS or Email
The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.  Each person's situation differs, and a professional advisor can assist you in using the information on this web site to your best advantage. 
Please see our legal disclaimer regarding the use of information on our site, and our Privacy Policy regarding information that may be collected from visitors to our site.