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Spousal Support

I have a client who paid only 50% of his required spousal support in 2017. In 2018 he paid all his required spousal support AND the remaining 50% he owed from 2017. Will CRA allow a T1 adjustment to his 2017 return to claim the retroactive spousal amount he paid in 2018?

Your client claims the total payment in the year it is paid, not the year to which it applies. The lump-sum retro payment should be deductible if it was to cover periodic payments that were required under a signed agreement or court order. As an aside, CRA reviews many of these payments but in my experience, some CRA officials do not know the rules and tend to assess based on what they think the rules are.

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Thanks Kevin for your prompt reply. I will therefore go ahead and deduct this retroactive spousal support payment on his 2018 return. These payments are all required as per the signed divorce agreement so I do have a strong leg to stand on in the event of a review down the road.

@kevin
" As an aside, CRA reviews many of these payments but in my experience, some CRA officials do not know the rules and tend to assess based on what they think the rules are."

I find this to be a more and more common occurrence.

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