Nicolas Godbout, fiscaliste et planificateur financier, M. Fisc., Pl. Fin

Is a spouse living abroad considered a tax spouse?

International tax  —   —  Share


Hello Mr. Godbout,

Is the Pacs considered in Quebec and Canada? Does that mean to becoming a common-law partner, even though we are not married and we each continue to reside in our country of origin? Could I be in a Pacs without having an impact on my tax returns?

Mrs G.

Hello Mrs G.,

Canada does not recognize the PACS (civil solidarity pact) as a civil status.

In Canada as in Quebec, either you are married, you are common-law partners (living under the same roof) or you will be considered single for Canadian tax purposes.

As you declare yourself single, there is no tax impact.

However, be aware that the definition of common-law partner is quite broad and that spouses who “live in a conjugal relationship” could be considered common-law partners. This would be the case for spouses who normally live together, but who are separated because of a work mandate abroad, for example.

There are many other criteria to consider, including the pooling of family resources, how you present yourself to others (as a couple, as a friend), etc.

Choosing to conclude a civil partnership definitely strengthens the bond of spouse that unites you.

If you would like a more in-depth analysis of these criteria in order to have a more certain opinion, we will be happy to help you with that.

Nicolas Godbout, M Fisc., Pl. Fin