For the purposes of Manitoba`s Family Property Act, a couple is considered to have entered into a common law relationship if they have registered their relationship with the Vital Statistics Agency or, if they are not registered, if they have lived together for at least three years, or one year if the couple has a child together. Being in a common law relationship instead of being single has different tax implications, both positive and negative. It may be advantageous to be a common law partner, as it may allow a working partner to use an inactive partner as a dependent partner, resulting in additional tax credits. On the other hand, common-law partners can only have a principal residence exemption in between, which two people could each claim on their own principal residence exemption, which has a significant impact on the sale of a property. However, it is important to note that the existence of a common law relationship is a fact rather than an election for the parties involved. That is, whether the parties think they are in a common law relationship or not may or may not be a factor, but it is not decisive and ultimately the courts may determine whether two people are a couple or not a couple, depending on the court`s opinion on the 7 factors. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the key factors and, when in doubt, call one of our experienced tax lawyers in Toronto and make sure your relationship status is correct. The rights and obligations of unmarried couples are determined on the basis of what might be fair in the particular circumstances of their relationship. This becomes problematic because couples struggle to negotiate at the end of a relationship without having clear expectations about what might happen if they went to court. It is always assumed that you have a spouse or life partner if you have been separated involuntarily (not because of a breakdown in your relationship). Involuntary separation can occur when a spouse or life partner lives far away or is imprisoned for professional, educational or health reasons. Basically, everyone seems to understand that to be „common law,“ you need to be in a marriage-like relationship instead of living with a roommate or family member. You must be a couple, right? What does that mean? According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you and your spouse or life partner must file your own tax returns.

However, you have the option to prepare your returns separately (decoupled) or together (as a coupled return). But what happens when a partner dies in a common-law relationship? It depends if the partner has a will! If you meet the definition of a common-law partner under the act, you must indicate on your tax return that you live in a common law relationship. You and your common-law partner must each file your own tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In addition to your own personal information, you will need to provide your life partner`s name, social security number, and net income (even if it is zero) upon your return. The rules are slightly different for common law couples. Married couples can claim their status once they have participated in a civil or religious ceremony, whether they have lived together or not. Other couples must live together for 12 consecutive months to be considered habitual for tax purposes. If you have children together, you are considered customary law as soon as you start living together. The CRA is watching your bedroom! A de facto marriage is an informal relationship that does not require the legal form of a legal marriage. In addition, a common-law marriage is a fact that is determined by the analysis of the situation of the partners and the application of various factors. This means that a common-law matrimonial relationship can also exist without the knowledge of the partners concerned. A common-law matrimonial relationship involves some of the rights and obligations of a legal marriage, although the details vary from province to province.

For the purposes of Canada`s Income Tax Act, life partners are treated as married couples. Prior to 2001, there was an expanded definition of spouse to include opposite-sex couples, but the Same-Sex Partners Act in 2000 removed this definition and added the definition of common-law partner to include both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and the Income Tax Act has since ceased to distinguish between same-sex couples. sex and opposite sex. In Canada, common law status usually refers to a person who lives with someone with whom you are not legally married, but with whom you are in a conjugal relationship. .