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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 09-04-2008, 01:03 AM
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Default Revenue Canada wants proof

Hi everyone,

I received a letter from Revenue Canada last week, requesting proof of the dependent that I claimed on my 2007 income tax return. I have 30 days from August 22nd to submit my two-year-old son's SIN and an agreement signed by his father and I showing our custody agreement.

My ex and I lived together in 2006 for three months prior to the birth of our son, and I moved out to another city within the same year, bringing our eight month old baby with me. His dad stayed with us for a few weeks early in 2007 until we could find a daycare spot while I returned to work. He continued to visit us from his city on weekends, but we never resumed a 'conjugal relationship.' He was going to move in with us in early 2008, but our relationship ended in Nov. 2007. We never arranged a separation or custody agreement, but I have always allowed full access while maintaining the full residential responsibility of sole parenting while working part-time. My son's father lives with his parents and this is where our son goes when he visits almost every weekend.

Now ... we have to formalize our arrangement, and are in disagreement. I want sole custody with full access, and am willing to allow stipulations such as father's permission to move out of province, etc. I believe that since I have been willingly responsible for the day-to-day decisions regarding my son, including daycare and medical care, that I should be allowed to continue to do so. To put it another way, I resent having my son's father put in 50% of the decision-making while I do 80% of the legwork.

He has just this past July began giving us a regular and consistent amount of child support, for which I am grateful. I am almost certain this will cease if I push my rights for sole custody. I am calling the local family mediation centre tomorrow to begin putting something together to send to Revenue Canada (running out of time!).

Any advice, suggestions, or criticisms are appreciated.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:11 AM
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The fighting for sole custody aside, you should ask your ex if he can provide a letter that states your son lives with you as primary and he has visitation. Those are basically the words they are looking for; 'primary' and 'visitation'. They are doing a slew of these checks this year due to the major changes in how taxes are deducted at source. You do not have to provide a SIN for your child when typically under 16 - unless they have a part-time job - thus requiring a SIN, when they otherwise would not have one as of yet.
None of my 4 have one, my oldest is 14.
I was also asked for this information recently, but in my situation I had a temporary order listing me as primary, along with a summary letter from my lawyer at that time where the children lived, and the schedule 4 'Details of Dependant'.
Ask him for the letter without discussing the impending custody battle to keep the even keel for now, and submit the info. If you are near a location with fax services, use that to send the documents.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:20 AM
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Thanks for your reply. It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who has to do this, and that I'm not being punished for doing something that I didn't know was wrong.

Providing a SIN isn't a problem, since I had to have one to open an RESP for my son. Maybe the custody letter isn't as complicated as I'm making it, and that my ex and I can continue to keep it informal for the time being. Neither of us have the time or money to go into litigation, but we will probably end up in mediation for peace of mind.

Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsKim View Post
The fighting for sole custody aside, you should ask your ex if he can provide a letter that states your son lives with you as primary and he has visitation. Those are basically the words they are looking for; 'primary' and 'visitation'. They are doing a slew of these checks this year due to the major changes in how taxes are deducted at source. You do not have to provide a SIN for your child when typically under 16 - unless they have a part-time job - thus requiring a SIN, when they otherwise would not have one as of yet.
None of my 4 have one, my oldest is 14.
I was also asked for this information recently, but in my situation I had a temporary order listing me as primary, along with a summary letter from my lawyer at that time where the children lived, and the schedule 4 'Details of Dependant'.
Ask him for the letter without discussing the impending custody battle to keep the even keel for now, and submit the info. If you are near a location with fax services, use that to send the documents.
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:14 PM
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If you are able to amicably work things through, and he's providing for your son, then I don't see why he wouldn't provide you with a letter to send to CCRA. It was annoying to be sent that this year as it does feel tiring to have to 'prove' that you are raising your own child at every turn, but you should be able to have it over with quickly.
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:59 PM
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They usually ask for proof only for the first time when you claim such credits. I don't think your ex will give you a letter that easily (especially if he has a lawyer) as it might create some sort of prejudice against him. What you should do is to call your reviewing officer at CRA and discuss the situation with him/her. Send them the SIN and birth certificate of your son, SIN of your ex so they can track who else is eligible to claim the dependent. If you have got the support payments by cheques, attach their copies if you have them. Since you don't have anything else in writing, you may want to write a sworn affidavit outlining the current custody arrangement and send it to them.

Also write a nice cover letter explaining what you are sending and what you can't provide under the circumstances.

I was asked to do the same for my son and for the spousal support payments on separate occasions. I had no proof of spousal support because it was all cash. I sent them copy of my ex's email demanding for support arrears for missed months of the year (we moved to FRO and they took their sweet time to process the case). I used it as circumstantial evidence that email was proof that prior and subsequent payments were made.
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:52 PM
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Wow, I can believe I'm posting this to 2 different people on here the same day. CCRA will ask for proof of custody if both parents claimed the child as a dependent on their tax return. Is it possible that your child's father did that?
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:23 PM
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I'm a tax accountant and I some of my clients have been subjected to this review for several years in a row.
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:48 PM
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I've had to do it twice, my ex has tried to claim the kids even though he doesn't have them, in fact after his girlfriend was charged for harming our youngest child and he could not even see them unless he came to visit, leaving her at their place, he tried to go after the child tax benefit!
You can bet if you owed the CCRA money, they wouldn't question a thing, but as soon as they have to cut you a rebate cheque, you can be sure a letter will arrive.
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsKim View Post
You can bet if you owed the CCRA money, they wouldn't question a thing, but as soon as they have to cut you a rebate cheque, you can be sure a letter will arrive.
I disagree, in my experience the CRA targets areas that are subject to error, and there are lots of them in family benefits (e.g. eligible dependant, amount for children under 17, GST, CTB, UCCB, child care expenses).

Other non-related examples of areas that they target are moving expenses and legal fees. It's not because someone got a refund cheque, it's because, on a cost-benefit basis, they can commit resources to these areas and have a good liklihood of catching errors, wilful or otherwise, and the recovery of tax dollars justifies the cost.

Because of the inherent conflict between separated/divorced parents, there is, on balance, less communication between them. Add in a good measure of vindictiveness between parents who want to screw each other (and therefore apply for benefits the other is getting) and the fact that tax legislation regarding family benefits is always changing and you have a minefield of examples where tax law has been wrongly applied by taxpayers.

Don't forget also that custodial and primary residence changes are common, which means that what happened last year doesn't necessarily apply this year, which helps to explain why people get reviewed for numerous tax years.

In my opinion, it really just boils down to the fact that are lots of dollars to recover and the area of family benefits is always ripe for the picking.
Another unfortunate aspect of separation and divorce. Having fun yet?
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:49 PM
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I agree with you about the vindictiveness of others, although I haven't managed to be a vindictive female, even though sometimes I wish I could manage it.
My taxes are so very.... plain. I work 2 jobs, I only claim what I should, I don't claim odds & ends to try to get anything 'extra' etc etc. I suppose you could say I am tired of being required to file the same information each time, hell they even have a copy of the court order which bars the children from even being with him at his place due to their 'common-law' status and her sentence.. but he still tries to get more money by claiming kids he won't even pay child support for.
The world is a funny place, that's for sure.
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