Claiming equivalent to dependant

A wife is married but husband is not resident. She has 5 children that she support on her own. Filed her as married but husband not a resident. Taxcycle is not allowing me to claim one of the children in line 305. I believe she should be able to claim one of the children since her husband was never supporting her in Canada. She always claimed as married in her tax return.
How do I claim one of her children in line 305?


On this file, I would expect that Tax Residency of this family and the individuals within it is a serious concern.

How do you know that the husband is not resident in Canada FOR TAX PURPOSES? - Facts? Tax Treaty deeming?

How do you know that the wife is resident in Canada FOR TAX PURPOSES.? Facts? Tax Treaty deeming?

Technically, it is theoretically possible there may be a short window where apparently contradictory circumstances prevail for a short limited time, but it is extremely rare. Generally one finds out that somebody has been filing completely and utterly wrongly…

Wife been resident of Canada for few years and she has a job. Husband does not live in Canada and there is no SIN. There are situation like this that I have filed previously but there were no children involved. The husband was waiting to get his visa to come to Canada.

Thanks for your reply but there is no need to put such assumption since you don’t know their situation.

You have described a situation which casts doubts on the legal eligibility for any such tax Credits, and also upon their Tax Residency.
Just responding to the basic description posted of this family. Hope it helped.

Other than Joe’s typical tirade (which may indeed be applicable), you could look at it this way - if they are legitimately married, and the husband has no income, she must be getting the spousal deduction, which means she can’t use the eligible dependant deduction (previously known as “equivalent to spouse”).

Thanks for your reply. She is not claiming spousal amount. This is why I was thinking to claim one of her children as equivalent to spouse. She works and pay taxes and does not get any government assistant.

It doesn’t matter whether she “works” or “pays taxes” or “gets government assistance”. The claim for eligible dependant depends on her being a single parent. So, basically, you can’t set her marital status to “married” or “common law” - it would have to be “single” or “separated” or “divorced” or “widowed”.

Once you do that, and select “eligible dependant” on the Dependant screen, an amount should show up on line 305. Let us know if it doesn’t?


And that would also be called… what’s the word again?.. oh yes… also “tax fraud”…

I am aware of this. Thank you. I just don’t want to change her marital status.
Thank you, everyone, for your replies. I will figure it out and keep you update.

Oh, for goodness sake, @joe.justjoe1. I was trying to help @jmvca figure out how to use the software correctly. I was NOT saying he should report something that was factually false.

It must be lonely in your universe, Joe. Why don’t you come on over to ours? We’re friendly here.

It seems fairly likely there is something wrong with the info in this file as described.
Something more than trying to fool the software into mis-reporting Section 118 is actually what should be looked at…

Sorry to say this, but you are very negative.

Reality is accepting that the facts may not agree well with each other.

I would read the tax treaties, and obtain copies of the other relevant documentation of these individuals to ascertain compliance.

Theres quite a bit that does not seem to quite add up in that taxpayer’s scenario.


I don’t think you would be able to get a eligible dependant claim. We had a similar case two years ago but non resident dad was supporting and had income in USA. To file mom we just had to show dad’s net income so there was no spousal transfer. I’m not positive and you should likely talk to the international tax office but if your dad’s income is low enough you may be able to claim some spousal transfers.

He is contact info for the international office.


PS: Stop being a Dick Joe

If you don’t like the wording of the Canadian Income Tax Act, there is a more accurate way of phrasing your sentence than that.

I could have pointed out that S239(1.1) provides for a fine plus imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years for doing what was proposed in the Original Post, but I was polite and refrained.
It is a very good thing that “Taxcycle is not allowing me to claim one of the children in line 305”

As mentioned above, I would continue to ask more questions and for more documentation until arriving at the truth of the matter for this taxpayer.

jmvca: I had a situation like this. Husband was a US citizen but wife supported him because he was in school. He was not working and they had three children. He did not yet have a SIN so wife could not claim him. Talked to CRA and they told us to claim single for tax purposes because it was a special situation. client was reviewed for eligible dependent. We appealed to save the headache of the review department. Appeals agreed with how it was done and everything was approved. Although the income tax act has to be followed, it is sometimes up to us to provide our argument. As long as you are transparent, you are at very little risk of fraud. You might consider asking for a ruling to save your client any problems until husband arrives in Canada.
Just my opinion. Good luck.


I agree with you. I will get confirmation from CRA before making any changes.


the ITA is clear on these issues. At best, there would be a claim for non-res spouse, never for eligible dependent…

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