Spousal amount - non resident spouse

I have a Canadian taxpayer who’s spouse is a non-resident of Canada for tax purposes. The taxpayer does not support her spouse and therefore, I don’t believe she is eligible to claim the spousal amount for him. However, the program is still generating a spousal amount on her return. I have entered all of his information on Sch 2 to indicate he is a non-resident. Is there a way to tell the program to remove the spousal amount or do I just override the credit to $0?

How much World wide income did you enter for him on Sched 2?

As Joe alluded to - the deduction is tied to the spouse’s income. The spousal deduction will not show up if the spouse’s income is either zero or something more than $12,069. Hope that helps!

What if the non-resident spouse is dependent on the tax filer - can we claim the spousal amount?

Non-Resident Spouse TaxTips.ca - Line 30300 Spouse or Common-Law Partner Amount Tax Credit

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:

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