As mentioned in our last blog, the most common documents that the CRA asks for in validating your eligibility for benefits and credits pertain to marital status, residency and primary caregiver.

Marital Status

If you don’t report your correct marital status, it can affect the calculation of your child and family benefits and credits.  The most common errors include defining if you are separated or living with a spouse or common-law partner.

You might not be considered separated if you decided to separate but still live together or you now share a household after a period of living apart.

A common-law relationship begins on the earlier of these 2 events: after you have lived together for 12 consecutive months or the day you have a child together by birth or adoption. 

The CRA may ask for any of the following documents to support your marital status:

  • Documents to support your current address: property tax bills, mortgage papers, letter from the landlord, rental or lease agreement, insurance policies
  • Letters from 2 different third parties with the name and signature of the writer, profession of the writer, writer’s contact information, writer has personal knowledge that the recipient did not live with the other individual during the period of separation and period of separation
  • A separation agreement or divorce decree.


If there are doubts about where you live, the CRA might need to confirm if you are a Canadian resident for tax purposes. The CRA may ask for a completed Form NR73, Determination of Residency Status (Leaving Canada).

Primary Caregiver

The primary caregiver must live with the child and be the individual who is primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child. 

The CRA may ask for documents to prove this such as: proof of birth, letters from third parties such as school authorities, family doctors, etc.