Child info on parents tax return

Is it necessary/mandatory for a parent to enter their child’s info (Full name & DOB) into the tax return even if they cannot claim anything related to the child (e.g. amount for an eligible dependent, child care expenses, Canada child benefit, etc.)

For example, the taxpayer is a single father who is not with the mother of his child. The child resides with the mother. The mother is primarily responsible for the child.
Who is primarily responsible for the care of the child

The person who is primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child should apply for the CCB. That person is responsible for things such as:

  • supervising the child’s daily activities and needs
  • making sure the child’s medical needs are met
  • arranging for child care when necessary

Short answer is no.

I usually like to keep the information on file though and answer “No” to the question “Lived with so & so taxpayer”.

That way if living arrangement’s change you have the info.


Yes - this. Not for CRA’s benefit and it doesn’t appear to be transmitted.

This gets a little tricky with shared custody though. The children really have no fixed address and if one parent pays child support, that parent cannot claim the eligible dependent tax credit. Taxcycle doesn’t seem to pick that up.

I have a client who thinks it’s a good idea to rotate with his ex which children they claim each year so I need to keep all 3 kids on file. It’s not ideal, especially for the medical expenses credit.