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What is the Penalty for Filing Single When Common Law?

What is the Penalty for Filing Single When Common Law?

“Common law” is still a term that most people do not understand. In Canadian laws, a couple living together for three years falls in the category of “common laws.” Many legal laws get complicated for common-law relationships. However, the main problem that they face is filing for income taxes. It is tough to choose a filing status, but you cannot claim something wrong. Are you thinking what the penalty for filing single when common law is? Read the article to learn more.

Types of Filing Tax

In 2020, the standard deduction of jointly was $24800, and single was $12400. When you are beginning with filing taxes, it is common to think which is better to file. There are two types to file taxes which are jointly and single.


There are many benefits to having a couple of files a joint tax return. You can combine the two incomes that would result in a lower tax rate. Fortunately, some couples might receive tax credits. Sometimes, tax reduction occurs as two different incomes are added, and some of those costs include medical expenses, charitable donations, etc.

They can also get tax credits like GST or HST. On the other hand, if a partner is not working, the other can apply for tax credits for dependents. It is necessary to mention the issue, and you can see a net income increase.


Single filing has relatively fewer benefits. People get tax refunds which also increases the net percentage. If separated, they will be exempt from tax credits and tax credits. However, such people cannot apply for student loans. Finally, if your tax returns are in segregation, there is a deduction of IRA contribution.

Is It Better To File Taxes as Common Law or Single in Canada?

Canadian tax rules differ all over the world. We have already mentioned that individuals must submit their applications, but people cannot decide how to pay taxes. However, CRA understands your relationship status with the information you provide to register loans or deductions. Some noticeable effects of services are GST or HST credit, benefits for children, etc.

Benefits of Common-Law Marriage in Canada

Some people think they need legal documents that show their true feelings for their partner. However, they get married at a certain age. The traditional method of marriage is to arrange rituals, but some people prefer to be private. They ignore organizing such events and get a legal document from the court.

Legally getting married in court is known as a “declaration of informal marriage,” known as “common law marriage.” common-law relationships and marriage only differ in legal documents.

Some benefits of common-law relationships are:

  • Equal right to property
  • Legalizing relationship
  • Spouse’s maintenance if the couple divorce
  • Right of inheritance

Can You File Single If You are Common-Law?

A common question couples have is whether it is necessary to claim common law in Canada. According to CRA, a relationship of more than 12 months is a common-law relationship. So, yes, it is essential to claim for common law.

If your couple is under legal conditions, you must indicate it on your tax return. You must individually file all of your taxes to the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency), where the personal information file must contain the partner’s information. It is necessary to apply with name, insurance number, zero consistent net income.

The couple’s net income partially benefits the country as a whole. In Canada, on population income, government benefits are calculated. Finally, the CRA calculates eligibility for tax credits and benefits.

How Long Couple Needs to be Separated to Claim?

Common-law relationships are many of which have long already faced obstacles. Legally, when they have a gap of more than 90 days old, a couple may be considered separately when a CRA adds. Income tax is different when couples separate because it is calculated based on past relationships.

What Happens If I’m Married but File Single?

In Canada, there is little difference between married couples and common-law couples. Therefore, it is fraudulent that the partner does not declare in a typical relationship. As a result, CRA denies many benefits from such people after being reassessed for not paying taxes properly.

Violation of rules and regulations is a crime, so many other problems arise. According to Section 7206, potential punishment is $ 5000 and three-year imprisonment. To save money, there is a criminal record added to your life!

Reasons Affecting Taxes: When Should You File Separately If Married?

There is no specific reason for couples to break up. However, the tax filing gets difficult in those times. Some reasons that affect filing taxes are as below.


Death is uncertain. When couples pay jointly, and one of the partners passes away, the other may continue the same process in that year. However, if they remarry in the same year, you get a single payment, but you can use the joint tax process with your new partner.

Liability Issues

There may be couples who suspect they are violating the law, such as not mentioning the exact percentage of income. To be safe, they prefer to pay separately to avoid future tax liability issues. In some cases, potential citizens choose to pay individually, as one of the partners may refuse to pay the tax.

Can I File Single If I Don’t Live with My Spouse?

In Canada, there are a lot of couples that get separated. Some relationships are not permanent, so they eventually break up. The tax filing method also changes when CRA understands the couple crossed 90 days. After that, in tax returns in the separation year, they hold accountability for the partner’s revenue until the separation date.

Contact Family Lawyers of Edmonton for Assistance

At Family lawyers of Edmonton, we are working with determined and experienced family law lawyers. They will help you to get the best results! So, we would not take a chance to let you down. Please call to know us more or visit our website.

Wrapping Up

If you read the whole article, we think it is pretty easy to understand tax filing now and the penalty for filing single when common law. To get the best result, a wise decision is to take the help of experienced lawyers. They will help you to decide the best and give credit to as many advantages as possible. As a whole, people decide to have different tax files even when their incomes vary. So, choose someone experienced to help you out!