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  • Feb 27th, 2018 7:59 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
8 posts
1 upvote

Tax Return Changing

My common law husband and I have been filing separately as "single" for the years 2004-2015 ( this was advice given to me because I am still legally married to someone else). Since I felt this info was wrong, we have filed together as common law for 2016 and 2017. I was the major bread winner, with my CL hubby making next to nothing. Up until 2016, we both received GST and the Trillium benefit, but next to nothing for income tax refund. I have noticed that since we file together, only one of us gets GST and Trillium and my refund has increased by about $2000.. Should I go back and change my marital status for the previous years? I understand it will result in reassessments etc, but I feel I would be "owed" more of a refund for those years... I'm sure one of us would owe back the GST and Trillium, but I feel the tax refund would be greater than the amount owed... Then I can have a clear conscience.
If you can't change something, change the way you think about it!
13 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2017
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MelissaR341 wrote: My common law husband and I have been filing separately as "single" for the years 2004-2015 ( this was advice given to me because I am still legally married to someone else). Since I felt this info was wrong, we have filed together as common law for 2016 and 2017. I was the major bread winner, with my CL hubby making next to nothing. Up until 2016, we both received GST and the Trillium benefit, but next to nothing for income tax refund. I have noticed that since we file together, only one of us gets GST and Trillium and my refund has increased by about $2000.. Should I go back and change my marital status for the previous years? I understand it will result in reassessments etc, but I feel I would be "owed" more of a refund for those years... I'm sure one of us would owe back the GST and Trillium, but I feel the tax refund would be greater than the amount owed... Then I can have a clear conscience.
Was the single GST payment after filing as common law different than the total of 2 GST payments when filing as singles? You may have to pay back GST or other benefits if you change prev. Returns? If you were legally married, then you shouldn’t be in common law at the same time.
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Jun 9, 2003
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I think only someone that is really knowledgeable in income tax would be able to solve this...potentially rerunning the taxes back for 6 years *may* accomplish this...but someone's going to ask for 50% of the potential tax refund...

sounds like a lot of work.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
8 posts
1 upvote
ml88888888 wrote: Was the single GST payment after filing as common law different than the total of 2 GST payments when filing as singles? You may have to pay back GST or other benefits if you change prev. Returns? If you were legally married, then you shouldn’t be in common law at the same time.
Theres a difference of about $100 for each GST. I've been legally separated from #1 since 2000, and in a common law relationship with #2 since 2004. I realize I may have to pay back some GST, but like I said, the difference between actual return refunds was $2000 each year for the 2 years we filed as common-law.
If you can't change something, change the way you think about it!
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
8 posts
1 upvote
stovetop wrote: Is your common law husband a deadbeat?
Why does he make next to nothing?

You're still married but you're common law to someone else?!?
Sounds like you should be on Jerry Springer.
Oh I get it.. I'm going to need you to run off and play now.. The grownups are having a grownup talk that you wouldn't need to understand.
If you can't change something, change the way you think about it!
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Nov 26, 2011
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Dec 27, 2009
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ml88888888 wrote: Was the single GST payment after filing as common law different than the total of 2 GST payments when filing as singles? You may have to pay back GST or other benefits if you change prev. Returns? If you were legally married, then you shouldn’t be in common law at the same time.
I know several people who are still legally married but live with a new common-law spouse. It is not rare.
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Dec 27, 2009
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It is pretty bad that you've done this for so many years, and I'm not sure how far back you can go with filing amendments. Have you always supported your spouse, or is it more recent? If he used to work, then you won't get the big refunds and will only have to pay back all the benefits. I'm assuming your big refunds are because he is a dependent (not earning much of anything). If you set up an online My CRA account you should be able to do amendments online.
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Dec 27, 2009
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Out of curiousity, I just logged into My CRA account, and on the part where it says "Change My Return", I see it goes back as far as 2008 on the drop-down list.
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Oct 21, 2012
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Chickinvic wrote: I'm assuming your big refunds are because he is a dependent (not earning much of anything).
For sure the refund is because they were below the personal basic amount.
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Mar 23, 2008
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ml88888888 wrote: Was the single GST payment after filing as common law different than the total of 2 GST payments when filing as singles? You may have to pay back GST or other benefits if you change prev. Returns? If you were legally married, then you shouldn’t be in common law at the same time.
Oddly enough, according to the CRA, there's no problem being separated (from your spouse) and common-law with someone else. But the OP should have been filing as common-law at that point
https://www.hrblock.ca/are-you-married- ... f-the-cra/

OP, your relationship status should be updated with the CRA by the end of the month following the month that your status changed. The exception is separating, because they don't want to hear about relationship squabbles 17 times throughout the year, apparently. But because things like GST refunds and stuff are based on family incomes, they want to know the effective dates sooner, rather than later.

Legally, you should call a Revenue Canada agent and talk to them. Have your dates lined up. When you separated, when you moved in together, etc. You may not be able to go back to 2004, but I think 6 years or so.

And yes, you may have to pay back some of your government kickbacks, and you may get some money back in refunds. You would have to do the math yourself to know what to expect. However, if you do it voluntarily, you may avoid penalties and some interest.
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency ... ogram.html

And ignore the judges on here... It's hard to get real-world relationship experience while residing in your parent's basement...

C
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
8 posts
1 upvote
CNeufeld wrote: Oddly enough, according to the CRA, there's no problem being separated (from your spouse) and common-law with someone else. But the OP should have been filing as common-law at that point
https://www.hrblock.ca/are-you-married- ... f-the-cra/

OP, your relationship status should be updated with the CRA by the end of the month following the month that your status changed. The exception is separating, because they don't want to hear about relationship squabbles 17 times throughout the year, apparently. But because things like GST refunds and stuff are based on family incomes, they want to know the effective dates sooner, rather than later.

Legally, you should call a Revenue Canada agent and talk to them. Have your dates lined up. When you separated, when you moved in together, etc. You may not be able to go back to 2004, but I think 6 years or so.

And yes, you may have to pay back some of your government kickbacks, and you may get some money back in refunds. You would have to do the math yourself to know what to expect. However, if you do it voluntarily, you may avoid penalties and some interest.
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency ... ogram.html

And ignore the judges on here... It's hard to get real-world relationship experience while residing in your parent's basement...

C
Thank you! I really just want to do the right thing here. Like I said, I was ill-advised back in 2004 to file as single because I was still legally married
If you can't change something, change the way you think about it!
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
8 posts
1 upvote
Chickinvic wrote: It is pretty bad that you've done this for so many years, and I'm not sure how far back you can go with filing amendments. Have you always supported your spouse, or is it more recent? If he used to work, then you won't get the big refunds and will only have to pay back all the benefits. I'm assuming your big refunds are because he is a dependent (not earning much of anything). If you set up an online My CRA account you should be able to do amendments online.
As stated before, I was instructed to file "single" but it didn't seem right to me, so I started filing together with CL hubby.. And yes, for personal reasons, he is unable to work full time, making me the major breadwinner.
If you can't change something, change the way you think about it!
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Dec 27, 2009
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Victoria, BC
MelissaR341 wrote: As stated before, I was instructed to file "single" but it didn't seem right to me, so I started filing together with CL hubby.. And yes, for personal reasons, he is unable to work full time, making me the major breadwinner.
Instructed by who? The rules are laid put pretty clearly. I would do a voluntary disclosure to the CRA at this point and hopefully you can get things cleared up. It seems you are likely owed more than you will owe.

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