Ask an Accountant: Life Events

Francesca Giroux, CPA
For the Lakeside Leader

After getting married or entering into a common-law partnership there are several steps that need to be taken with regards to your personal information on record with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you do change your last name it is important to tell the CRA as soon as possible. If you change only your last name you can call 1-800-959-8281 to advise the CRA of your name change. In addition to a potential name change you may also have a change of address. This has to be completed by yourself (cannot be done by your accountant or authorized representative). To change your address on file with the CRA by mail or fax fill out Form RC325 Address Change Request, or send a letter or fax to your tax center (which can be found on the notice of assessment you received from your most recently filed tax return). The letter should include your signature, social insurance number, new address and the date of your move.

It is important to inform the CRA as soon as possible regarding your marital status change as this will involve a recalculation of your child and family benefits as the calculation will be affected by your new adjusted family net income. With regards to separation, the CRA should not be notified until the separation has lasted at least 90 days. Upon receiving notice that your marital status has changed, your GST credit will be recalculated based on your adjusted family net income. This could involve a potential reduction in the current GST credit you are receiving, therefore it is important to inform CRA of a marital status change as soon as possible to avoid having to repay a portion or all of the credit you received in the months since the change. Once married only one individual will receive the credit for both spouses/common-law partners.

The CRA considers you to be in a common-law partnership if you are living in a conjugal relationship with another individual (who you are not legally married to) and to whom at least one of the following situations apply: 1. the individual has been living with you in a conjugal relationship continuously for at least 12 months; 2. the individual is the parent of your child by birth or adoption; or 3. the individual has custody or control of your child and your child is wholly dependent on that person for support. The “12 continuous months” rule includes any period where you were separated for less than 90 days because of a breakdown in the relationship.

Please e-mail your questions to frankie@nashgirouxllp.ca.

Information provided is of a general nature. As each individual or company’s situation is unique, you may wish to consult with your CGA for information specific to your own needs.

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