Personal Finance

Studiotax: I am getting $600 more for refund when I unlink from my spouse's tax return!

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 24th, 2021 3:47 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 9, 2019
10 posts
2 upvotes

Studiotax: I am getting $600 more for refund when I unlink from my spouse's tax return!

Does anyone know why this is? As soon as I link it back, the refund is reduced by that amount! I have never unlinked our returns but am starting to feel a little uncomfortable thinking I could have done this in past years and maybe, received a larger refund. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by Podapatti on Apr 14th, 2020 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thread Summary
Unlinking/linking tax returns
30 replies
Jr. Member
Sep 14, 2004
115 posts
138 upvotes
There are probably multiple credits that you are getting as individuals where as when you link, only 1 gets its.
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2002
4525 posts
1066 upvotes
Podapatti wrote: Does anyone know why this is? As soon as I link it back, the refund is reduced by that amount! I have never unlinked our returns but am starting to feel a little uncomfortable thinking I could have done this in past years and maybe, received a larger refund. Thanks in advance.
You should do a comparison between the two scenarios to see what the difference is and whether they're actually legitimate if you are married. If they are, as of now you can go online and adjust your returns all the way back to 2010 and CRA will even pay interest on it.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 10, 2018
3721 posts
792 upvotes
centre of universe
Podapatti wrote: Does anyone know why this is? As soon as I link it back, the refund is reduced by that amount! I have never unlinked our returns but am starting to feel a little uncomfortable thinking I could have done this in past years and maybe, received a larger refund. Thanks in advance.
Are you sure you can file return Only? Both have to submitted as per our system right?
May be others will know exact.
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Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2007
1023 posts
555 upvotes
It's likely the spousal amount. If you unlink the returns, StudioTax probably calculates your taxes as if you were married and had a spouse with 0 income.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 9, 2019
10 posts
2 upvotes
We are married. I did do a comparison. When I click on Unlink Returns, the refund increases by $600+. As soon as I link it back, it goes back down.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 9, 2019
10 posts
2 upvotes
SLee wrote: You should do a comparison between the two scenarios to see what the difference is and whether they're actually legitimate if you are married. If they are, as of now you can go online and adjust your returns all the way back to 2010 and CRA will even pay interest on it.
We are married. I did do a comparison. When I click on Unlink Returns, the refund increases by $600+. As soon as I link it back, it goes back down.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 9, 2019
10 posts
2 upvotes
JUnit wrote: It's likely the spousal amount. If you unlink the returns, StudioTax probably calculates your taxes as if you were married and had a spouse with 0 income.
Now, that won't work because she also works and has an income. Smiling Face With Open Mouth.
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2002
4525 posts
1066 upvotes
Podapatti wrote: We are married. I did do a comparison. When I click on Unlink Returns, the refund increases by $600+. As soon as I link it back, it goes back down.
Can you go line by line in Studio Tax between the two scenarios to narrow down the specific line(s) that are different in your return?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 19, 2004
8936 posts
1872 upvotes
Cambridge, ON
When you unlink the account, it is taking credits that it putting on your spouse's return and putting them on yours. You should be able to get to the same number as long as you put in all your spouse's info in correctly and don't double claim things when you have them unlinked.

Could be spousal amount, childcare amounts, medical expenses, donations, climate incentives, maybe other things. If you want to figure out the reason, look at your return and figure out what changes and what you miss entering when you unlink them.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 18, 2007
3508 posts
603 upvotes
Valleywood
It should be easy enough to use the Summary feature (left margin) to spot the difference. Take a screen shot of the joined returns Summary and compare to each Summary when unlinked.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 9, 2019
10 posts
2 upvotes
Okay, thanks, everyone. I will do that. That is too easy - I will just go line by line. :-)

I appreciate all the helpful responses. I knew I would get help here.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 10, 2006
1600 posts
853 upvotes
how do you unlink it on studiotax? i tried to experiment your scenario and it wont let me uncheck the box in the wizard feature to backtrack.
Deal Addict
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Mar 9, 2012
3516 posts
2160 upvotes
Kitchener
Podapatti wrote: We are married. I did do a comparison. When I click on Unlink Returns, the refund increases by $600+. As soon as I link it back, it goes back down.
Sounds like unlinking eliminated the Ontario Health Care change.
Why can't we all just get along?
Newbie
Apr 9, 2013
39 posts
14 upvotes
Podapatti wrote: Okay, thanks, everyone. I will do that. That is too easy - I will just go line by line. :-)

I appreciate all the helpful responses. I knew I would get help here.
Any updates on the comparison?
I was always wondering the same - if it’s more beneficial to do taxes individually rather than together as spouses.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
10723 posts
13029 upvotes
Vancouver
JUnit wrote: It's likely the spousal amount. If you unlink the returns, StudioTax probably calculates your taxes as if you were married and had a spouse with 0 income.
This. I also experienced a drop of $600 to my refund when I started working on my wife's return and added her income. It was claiming the spousal benefit for me, based on me having a spouse with zero income. You can unlink your returns, but in the end your spouse doesn't have zero income so you can't claim that credit. It will be clawed back if you try to claim it.
Deal Addict
Jun 12, 2008
1186 posts
655 upvotes
Ripley
my163cih wrote: Any updates on the comparison?
I was always wondering the same - if it’s more beneficial to do taxes individually rather than together as spouses.
It doesn't matter if it is more beneficial or not. If you are married (or common law) you have to file taxes as such.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
1413 posts
744 upvotes
Toronto
I've noticed this too. The refund is higher if filing separately. It probably has to do with certain exemptions being reduced.

However, I don't think you can file separately if your status is married.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Dec 18, 2008
943 posts
75 upvotes
It's been answered twice already. It is assuming your spouse's income is $0. When you file it will ask you to confirm this with a check box. OP has already said that this is not the case.
Deal Addict
Sep 2, 2009
1591 posts
1344 upvotes
Ottawa
Yeah, you can't just "unlink" because you feel like it and want a larger return. You'll be asking for an audit, penalties, and interest owed to CRA.

As an example, you get $224 as an individual if you qualify for the Climate action incentive. Having a spouse increases it by $112. Right there is a difference of $112 between filing "alone" (224+224) and "together" (224+112) - except one instance is correct, the other is incorrectly filing your taxes and owing the difference.

An there are other credits that depend on your spouse's situation as well (which have been mentioned): medical, childcare, spousal credit, donations, GST, etc... Not sure how Studiotax specifically deals with un-linking since most programs will try to maximize the joint returns instead of maximizing the two individual returns (which ends up double-counting credits leading to what seems like a higher refund overall).

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