How am I able to claim the dependent deductions?

How am I able to claim the dependent deductions?/

How am I able to claim the dependent deductions?

Aaron M. Vanin 11 May 2017

The decision of Harder v. The Queen 2016 TCC197 dealt with the Appeal of a Child Support Order in which there was shared parenting. Mr. Harder earned more money than his ex-wife, and the two shared the parenting of their children. As a result, following Federal Child Support Tables for Alberta, Mr. Harder paid a simple offset amount, that being the difference between the total amount of child support he would pay to his ex-wife, less the amount she would pay to him. As a result of this arrangement, Mr. Harder was denied the ability to claim one of the children as an eligible dependent, and he Appealed.

The Court found the wording in the Income Tax Act declared that no amount could be deducted from child support. If a party is not a recipient of actual child support, then that party cannot claim a child as an eligible dependent. Simply put, if a party was not receiving support from the other, then the net payor could not claim a child as a dependent.

On September 14, 2016, the Court found the argument sympathetic in that the payment of offset support was a simple calculation for convenience. Rather than following through with this common-sense approach, the Court urged Family Law Practitioners to show flexibility in wording orders so that each party paid support to the other.

Prior to this decision, it had been the general practice of the Family Law Bar to include an offset calculation for convenience sake. Following the ruling of the Court, this process is no longer sufficient.

As a result, if you are a net payor of child support in a shared parenting arrangement, and you wish to claim one of the children as a eligible dependent, you will have to do the following:

  1. Have your Court Order, or Agreement worded so that each party pays support to the other.
  2. Have an actual exchange of cheques in those amounts showing payments.

If you are having difficulties in processing these claims our family law experts would be more than happy to assist you in re-wording either your Agreement or Court Order.

Contact Us

Stay up–to–date

Roger G. Rouault 21 September 2017

Child Support and Undue Hardship

Child support is crucial for ensuring that children have the financial support they need. However, the cost of supporting a child can be quite expensive. For parents struggling to make their child sup…

Enrique Dubon-Roberts 4 September 2017

Rights of Common Law Couples During a Break Up

We often hear the term “common law couples” used for non-married couples in Alberta.  Common-law couples have different rights than married couples upon the breakdown of a relationship.  The rig…

Diana J. Richmond 30 August 2017

Independent Legal Advice: Is it Necessary for Divorce?

With various divorce processes having the potential to cost a lot of money, it’s no surprise that many divorcing couples seek ways to keep their costs to a minimum. To do this, many chose to prepare…

Debra J. Price 8 August 2017

WHAT IS THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROGRAM AND WHY IS IT COMPULSORY?

The Dispute Resolution Officer program was first introduced in Calgary in 2001 as a pilot project.  It is now, and has been for many years, mandatory in both Calgary and Edmonton prior to any child s…

Alison J. Chickloski 4 August 2017

Negotiation, Mediation or Arbitration in Family Law: Which is Best?

When parties separate and commence the divorce process or when they decide to settle support or parenting matters, many times they advise their family lawyer that they do not want to end up in court o…

More