If you live alone or only with dependent children, you may qualify for a special non-refundable tax credit. While it cannot trigger a refund, this credit can help to reduce the tax you owe.
Defining Living Alone
For the purpose of this credit, Revenue Canada requires you to have lived alone for the entirety of the tax year for which you are filing.
Specifically, this means that you did not live with your parents, your siblings, or even co-tenants or roommates.
However, you are considered to have lived alone if you only lived with children under the age of 18, or if you lived with your child who was over the age of 18 and enrolled in a full-time post-secondary or vocational training program.
The Amount for Person Living Alone
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you qualify to claim an amount of $1,721 on your income tax return. However, if you have children living with you, you may qualify to claim an additional amount.
Additional Amount for Single-Parent Families
If you qualify for the person living alone amount and are a single-parent, you may qualify to claim an additional credit of $2,124. However, to make this claim, you must meet two additional criteria.
You must not have been entitled to any child assistance payments from the Regie des rentes du Quebec during December for the tax year for which you are filing. If you were entitled to child assistance payments during other months, you can still claim the additional amount but must reduce your claim for each month you were entitled to these benefits.
Additionally, you must also have a child over the age of 18 who has lived with you for at least part of the tax year. This child must be a post-secondary or vocational training student who transferred an amount to you or could have transferred an amount to you.
Completing Your Income Tax Return
Before you can claim the amount for a person living alone, you need to complete Schedule B. This schedule helps you compute the amount for a person living alone, but also includes amounts for retirement income and age.
It prompts you for information about your income, and if you want to apply for either of the other two amounts, it also requires information about your retirement income and age.
Take the amount from line 32 of Part B of this schedule and transfer it to line 361 of your Quebec return. If you owe tax, this amount will be used to reduce it. When you submit your return to Revenue Quebec, include this schedule.
Unfortunately, if you are ever audited, you may need to prove that you lived alone and were entitled to this credit. Make sure to keep records and receipts to back up your claim such as municipal tax bills, mortgages or leases, utility bills, or other documents.