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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) collects information on marital status as part of the tax filing process. This information is important for determining your tax obligations, credits, and benefits. In this blog post, we will explore why the CRA needs to know your marital status.

Firstly, marital status determines how you file your taxes. A change in status (marriage, common-law, widow, separation, divorce) affects your tax filing. Each status has different tax implications, and how you file your taxes can impact your eligibility for certain benefits and credits.

For example, if you’re married or in a common-law relationship, you can choose to file your taxes jointly or separately. Filing jointly can result in a lower tax bill, as you can claim certain deductions and credits that are not available when filing separately. 

Marital status also impacts eligibility for government benefits and credits. Your benefits and credit payments are directly impacted upon a marital status change. The CRA will recalculate benefits and credit payments based on the updated family net income, the number of children you have in your care and their ages, and the province where you reside.  

You are required to notify the CRA of your marital status change by the end of the month following the month of your status change. In the eyes of the CRA, a separation (breakdown in the relationship) is defined as living apart for more than 90 days. You can change your status in My Account, via the MyCRA mobile apps, by calling 1-800-387-1193, or by sending a completed Form RC65 Marital Status Change

In conclusion, the CRA needs to know your marital status to accurately determine your tax obligations, credits, and benefits. By providing this information, you can ensure that you are receiving all of the benefits and credits you are entitled to.