Separation / Involuntary Separation

Married couple in their 50’s. 3 children. One spouse was entered into Psychiatric facility for care from November 2017 to March 2018. Spouse was released and back home now.
Has anyone made the claim as Separated or Involuntary Separation in a case like this? Paperwork is in order but is it worth the aggravation of dealing with CRA? Suggestions

The Income Tax Act does not recognize the term “Involuntary Separation”. Some other programs, such as Ontario Property Tax Credits (ONBEN Form), or Guaranteed Income Supplement administered through Service Canada do allow for special treatment in cases of Involuntary Separation.

Courts have confirmed that a couple is considered to be Separated where there is a 90 day breakdown in the marriage or common law relationship. Court rulings consider various facts as to whether a breakdown in the marriage has occurred, primarily boiling down to “intentions and actions” of the individuals involved. Living separate and apart for attendance at school, work, prison, or medical reasons do not constitute a breakdown in the marriage.

The fact that the spouse moved back home in March of 2018 may indicate there was no breakdown in their relationship, thus confirming their martial status to be “married”. The CRA views that spouses who are living apart for reasons other than a breakdown in the relationship are not considered to be separated for the purposes of the Income Tax Act.

Thanks, appreciate the answer.

Have you had any experience with the provincial program for making a claim under Involuntary Separation (ONBEN)?

Yes, definitely. In cases where both spouse’s would qualify separately for the Ontario Tax Credits they both need to complete form ONBEN. Field 6108 must be checked off on both forms, Part B must be completed with separate locations for both clients, and part C must be completed for each client.

If the client is being cared for in a publicly funded facility that does not pay property taxes, the amount paid for accommodation would generally go under line 6123. Otherwise, if they are in a facility that does pay property taxes, the facility will generally provide a receipt with a breakdown of the charges including how much is allocated to rent or accommodation and the rent would be entered on line 6110.

They seem to go through ok, and review fine with the same documentation that you would provide in any other case.

Very thankful on Tax Deadline Eve.

This client will not qualify, amounts paid to institution were fully reimbursed by an insurance program.