Tax Breaks (2022 - 2023) for Having a Dependent in Canada - File Taxes (2023)

Do you support someone financially? If so, you may be able to claim it as dependent on your taxes and get a discount on your taxes for the 2023 tax year. You pay less in taxes, and who doesn't love that?

The CRA offers you, as a Canadian taxpayer, credits to reduce your taxes by claiming a qualifying deduction for a dependent. There are many options for who you can name as your eligible dependent for CRA, and there are many benefits to claiming dependents.

So you can list your child or spouse, but you can also choose to get a tax credit for your grandmother or mother if they live with you. Let's take a look at the rules so you can decide who to choose to get the maximum survivor tax benefits this year.

What are the tax benefits of claiming surviving relatives?

If you are a single taxpayer with no spousal credit and you care for a relative, such as children, parents or grandparents, you can claim a dependent and receive a non-refundable tax credit. A non-refundable tax credit immediately reduces the tax you pay. But this does not mean that you will get a refund check. Your taxes cannot go below zero for a non-refundable tax credit. However, if you claim a dependent, you can reduce your income tax to zero!

In addition, you can only claim one dependent, regardless of how many children or adults you support. In addition, your household can only claim one dependent tax credit, even if you have multiple dependents or other persons who are entitled to a dependent.

So if you have a husband, three children and your mother in your household, you have a choice to make. If your mother has a pension, her income may be enough to exclude her as a dependent. In that case, one of your kids (the one without a job) is probably your best bet. Let's take a look at the details.

Determine if you qualify for dependent credits in Canada

the CRA wonders3 questions to determine your eligibilityfor dependent credits in Canada.

1. How are you connected to your family member? Different relationships form the basis for dependent claims. Here is the list from CRA:

Your dependent can be your grandparent or parent by blood relationship, marriage, common law, or even adoption. A dependent can also be your child or grandchild, sister or brother – including by blood relationship, marriage, common law, or even adoption, as long as they are under 18 or have a mental or physical disability. The dependent tax credit has no age limit for anyone with a qualifying disability.

So who is considered dependent?

You have the option of claiming your dependent tax credit on:

  • Your spouse:The spousal amount applies if your spouse has net income less than $13,808, which is the 2021 personal base exemption. This non-refundable tax credit is deducted from your taxable income. In addition, you claim the additional $2,350 credit if you have a spouse with a qualifying physical or mental disability. So if your partner is home with the kids or has a part-time job, these could be a good choice for a dependent.
  • Your parent, grandparent, brother or sister:If your relative lives with you and is financially dependent on you, you may be able to claim dependent credits for him or her. Only one of you in the household can claim the assets of each dependent.
  • One of your children:You can claim the dependent tax benefit for all your children up to the age of 18. After they turn 18, you can claim it if they have a qualifying physical or mental disability. Your child doesn't even have to live with you while attending school to be eligible. As long as yours is their permanent address, you can choose to claim them for your next of kin. And only one parent can claim the child. If you and the child's other parent separate, you are only entitled to the tax credit if the child normally lives with you. If you pay child support, that child does not qualify as a dependent.

Your dependent credit claim is reduced by the amount your dependent earns. So if they have a job or a pension, file their tax returns before you do your own. This way you know how much you can claim upon your return.

2. Were you single, divorced, divorced or widowed while supporting a dependent living in your home?

Always read the description on the CRA website to make sure you give the correct answer. For example, if your partner didn't live with you, you didn't support them, and they didn't support you, that's the definition of "divorced" as far as the CRA is concerned. There is therefore no question of any form of legal separation in order to still be able to claim the dependent tax credit.

Sometimes your family member does not have to live in your home to be eligible. For example, your family member may live far from home while he or she attends college. But suppose they normally live with you outside of the school year. In that case, the CRA admits that your dependent “lives with you” for the dependent credit purpose. Your family member doesn't even have to live in Canada, as long as he or she has previously lived with you. This is of course possible if you live in another country and live with your family member.

3. In addition, the CRA has several rules against claiming a dependent, such as:

  • If you or someone else is already claiming the amount from the spouse or cohabitant on behalf of this surviving relative
  • Claiming the dependent amount for your common law partner.
  • If more than one of you is eligible to claim the survivor, you must decide together who will receive the survivor tax benefits. For example, say you share custody of a child. In that case, you must agree on who will claim the tax benefit, otherwise CRA will rule that neither of you will get the survivor tax benefits.
  • Each household makes only one claim to the family member tax credit, even if there is more than one family member in the home.
  • Claiming a child for whom you pay alimony. But there is a caveat here. If you're only separated for part of the year, you may be able to claim a dependent amount for the child if you don't file for child support upon your return. Choose what is best for your situation.

Child tax credits

In addition to a tax credit for dependent spouses, the Canadian tax system also offers a child tax credit. A child under age 6 has a maximum tax credit of $6,997. Children ages six through seventeen have a maximum benefit of $5,903. For those who share custody of the children, the child discount is split 50-50. If your child has a physical or mental disability, CRA also offers a child disability discount in addition to the basic amounts.

Also, some Canadian provinces have child tax benefits.'s accountants adjust your taxes to maximize the tax benefits of claiming dependents in your county.

Maximize your tax return with

File taxescan help you figure out how the survivor tax benefits work out in different scenarios. Our professionals consider the laws in your jurisdiction to ensure you receive the maximum benefits from claiming dependents, regardless of where you live in the country. If you want a tax advisor to file your return, book a call with our tax expert to take your tax return from start to finish. The Tax Declaration experts are happy to help you with this. To speak with an experienced accountant, please contact Filing Taxes at 416-479-8532 or[email protected]. Schedule an NTR engagement appointment with us and take the first step towards sound management of your finances.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not take into account your personal situation and is not intended to be used without consulting accounting and financial professionals. Salman Rundhawa and Filing Taxes cannot be held responsible for any problems arising from the use of the information on this page.


Tax Breaks (2022 - 2023) for Having a Dependent in Canada - File Taxes? ›

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families with children under the age of 18. Eligible families may receive up to $6,997 per child for the 2022–2023 benefit year. The amount you're eligible to receive depends on your family's income and size.

What is the tax break for dependents in 2023? ›

For the 2023 tax year, the child tax credit is worth up to $2,000 per qualifying dependent under the age of 17. The credit amount decreases if your modified adjusted gross income exceeds $400,000 (married filing jointly) or $200,000 (all other filers).

What are the tax benefits of having a child in Canada? ›

the Canada child benefit (CCB) – A tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children. You could get up to $6,400 per year for each eligible child under 6 years old and up to $5,400 for each eligible child from 6 to 17 years old.

What are the rules for claiming dependents in 2023? ›

To meet the qualifying child test, your child must be younger than you and either younger than 19 years old or be a "student" younger than 24 years old as of the end of the calendar year. There's no age limit if your child is "permanently and totally disabled" or meets the qualifying relative test.

What is the new benefit in Canada 2023? ›

Low-income workers will receive advanced payments of the Canada Workers Benefit in July 2023, October 2023 and January 2024. You must claim the benefit on your 2022 tax return. For more information on who is eligible, how much you can get and how to apply refer to: Canada Workers Benefit.

How much can a dependent child earn in 2023 without paying taxes? ›

If your child's income is above this year's level, they need to file; below that point, they aren't required to file a tax return. The amount for 2023 is $1,250.

How much can a dependent child earn in 2023 and still be claimed? ›

A qualifying child can earn an unlimited amount of money and still be claimed as a dependent, so long as the child doesn't also provide more than half of his or her own support.

Does having a child reduce taxes in Canada? ›

In addition to a spousal-type tax benefit for dependants, the Canadian tax system also offers a child tax credit. A child under 6 years old has a maximum tax benefit of $6,997. Kids aged six to 17 have a maximum benefit of $5,903. For those who share custody of the children, the child tax credit splits 50-50.

Can I claim my child as a dependent in Canada? ›

In addition, the dependant must also be one of the following persons by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption: your parent or grandparent. your child, grandchild, brother, or sister under 18 years of age.

Can I get CCB outside Canada? ›

If you are eligible to receive the Canada child benefit (CCB), you will continue to receive it and any related provincial or territorial benefits that you are eligible for during your absence from Canada. However, you will have to file a return each year so that the CRA can calculate your CCB .

How much does a dependent reduce your taxes? ›

Child and dependent care credit

The credit is worth up to $3,000 for one qualifying dependent and up to $6,000 for two or more qualifying dependents. The child and dependent care credit has stricter qualification guidelines than the child tax credit.

Is it better to claim 1 or 0 dependents? ›

Claiming 1 reduces the amount of taxes that are withheld from weekly paychecks, so you get more money now with a smaller refund. Claiming 0 allowances may be a better option if you'd rather receive a larger lump sum of money in the form of your tax refund.

How does having a dependent affect taxes? ›

Each dependent that qualifies for the Child Tax Credit can reduce your taxes by up to $2,000. Qualifying children over 16 and other qualifying relatives can reduce your taxes by $500 each. A qualifying child must live with you for more than half the year.

What is considered high income in Canada? ›

What's considered a wealthy income in Canada? A wealthy Canadian household has an income of about $236,000 or more per year. Stats Canada reports that the top 1% of earners in the country have an income of $512,000 – that's a single income, not a household.

How much is low income in Canada 2023? ›

Comparing 6-month LICO over the years
Size of Family Unit20182023
one person$12,475$13,757
two persons$15,531$17,127
three persons$19,093$21,055
four persons$23,181$25,564
4 more rows
May 3, 2023

Is there any new benefits in Canada? ›

Advanced Canada Workers Benefit

The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) is a refundable tax credit for individuals and families who are working and earning a low income. Starting in July 2023, the CWB will provide advance payments equal to 50% of the CWB across three payments under the Advanced Canada Workers Benefit.

Why is my tax return so low 2023 with dependents? ›

There are also some changes to the Child Tax Credit. “For the COVID incentives, there were enhanced and increased child tax credits, and child and dependent care credits, but those have been reverted to pre-COVID levels. So, parents could actually be looking at a lower refund than last year,” Curran said.

Will tax refunds be bigger in 2023? ›

The IRS warned back in November 2022 that “refunds may be smaller in 2023” for various reasons, including the lack of economic impact payments last year and the greater difficulty around deducting charitable contributions.

What is the income tax credit for 2023? ›

Earned income tax credit 2023

For the 2023 tax year (taxes filed in 2024), the earned income credit ranges from $600 to $7,430, depending on your filing status and how many children you have. Below are the maximum 2023 earned income tax credit amounts, plus the most you can earn before losing the benefit altogether.

How are the tax brackets for 2023 compared to 2022? ›

There are seven tax rates: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%, the same as in tax year 2022. The income thresholds for the 2023 tax brackets were adjusted significantly — up about 7% from 2022 — due to the record-high inflation. This means that some people might be in a lower tax bracket than they were previously.


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