Separation and divorce
Government assistance and tax credits: Who should be notified in the event of a breakup?
After a breakup, your tax credits and government assistance may change as a result of your new conjugal status. Here are the main government bodies you need to notify to make sure you receive your full entitlements on time.
Who should be notified?
In the event of a breakup, you must inform Revenu Québec and the Canada Revenue Agency of your change in conjugal status so that they can adjust your benefit amounts accordingly.
Be sure to notify them promptly if:
- You receive advance payments of tax credits (e.g., for childcare expenses)
- You receive the GST/HST credit
- You receive the Canada child benefit
- You receive benefits under the Shelter Allowance Program
If you receive the Family Allowance, you must notify Retraite Québec of any change that could affect your benefit amount.
In the event of a breakup, the allowance will be recalculated based on each parent’s new family income and the way child custody is shared between them.
Please note that Retraite Québec should also be notified of any subsequent change in custody.
If you receive benefits under the Social Assistance or the Social Solidarity program, you must inform Services Québec of your change in conjugal status.
Your benefits might need to be adjusted based on your new situation.
Check with all the bodies you receive benefits or allowances from (e.g., the loans and bursaries program).
You may have to notify them of your new conjugal status so that they can recalculate the amounts you’ll receive.
You must notify your employer if your breakup results in a change in the amounts to be withheld from your salary.
This could be the case if you gave your employer the “Source Deductions Return - TP-1015.3” and TD1 forms to take your tax credits and deductions into account in advance (e.g., tax credit for dependants or transfer of tax credits between spouses).
You might also want to increase the amount of tax deducted from your salary to avoid paying an overly high balance when you file your next income tax return.
For example, you may want to take into account any spousal support you’re receiving, since that must be included in your income.
When should you send the notifications?
Whether you’re married or in a de facto relationship, most government bodies ask you to wait until 90 consecutive days have passed after the date of your breakup before notifying them of your new conjugal status.
If you’re not sure when to notify them, contact the body in question for more information on the deadlines.
Take the opportunity to update your contact information
When you notify a body of your change in conjugal status, take that opportunity to update your contact information (e.g., mailing address, bank information for direct deposit, etc.).
This will ensure that the amount you’re entitled to is sent to the right place.
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The information presented on this page is not a legal opinion or legal advice. This page explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. To obtain a legal opinion or legal advice on your personal situation, consult a legal professional.
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