Separation and divorce
Your first income tax returns after separation or divorce: What you need to know
Whether you and your ex were married or in a de facto partnership, your first tax returns after the breakup may be quite different from what you used to file when you were a couple. Here are 4 things you should know before getting started.
Tax credits and deductions: Your rights could change
Marital status and family income are often considered when assessing eligibility for certain tax credits or deductions.
Since your breakup will change your marital status and probably your family income, you may:
- see an increase or decrease in the credits or deductions you’re entitled to receive.
- be eligible for new credits or deductions.
- no longer be able to claim certain credits or deductions you had access to in the past.
Find out in advance how your breakup might affect your tax credits and deductions to avoid unpleasant surprises when you fill out your tax returns.
Spousal support payments can change taxable income
If you pay support to or receive support from your former spouse or de facto partner, these payments must be taken into account when calculating your income.
Generally, the person paying support can deduct it from his or her income, while the person receiving support must include it in the calculation of his or her income.
However, the calculation of your income may not follow this rule, for example if support is paid as a lump sum and not in periodic instalments.
Some legal fees can be deducted
If you’ve started legal proceedings for your separation or divorce, certain legal fees can be deducted from your income (e.g., a portion of your lawyer’s fees).
Talk to your lawyer to find out which fees can be deducted, and make sure your lawyer’s invoice is detailed enough to allow you to do so.
A professional can help you see things more clearly
Filing your tax returns after a separation can be confusing.
Don't hesitate to talk to a professional, such as an accountant or a tax specialist, to help you make the best decisions for your situation.
Free or low-cost resources, such as tax clinics, can also help you.
Vos premiers impôts après une séparation (French only)
Source : Rendez-vous JuridiQC
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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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