Lines 230 and 220 – Support payments made

Reporting support payments on your tax return

If you are claiming deductible support payments, enter on line 230 of your tax return the total amount of support payments you paid under a court orders or written agreements. This includes any non-deductible child support payments you made.

Do not include amounts you paid that are more than the amounts specified in the order or agreement, such as pocket money or gifts that you sent directly to your children.

Enter on line 220 of your tax return the deductible part of the support payments that you paid.

Make sure that both line 230 and line 220 are filled out correctly to avoid your claim being delayed or denied.

You also have to register your court order or written agreement with us. For more information, see Registering your court order or written agreement.

Example – How to report support payments on your tax return

Diane and Gene recently divorced. In their court order made in December 2016, Gene has to pay Diane $1,000 per month for their two children, and $500 per month for spousal support.

Gene started making monthly support payments of $1,500 in January. He paid a total of $18,000 for 2017.

Gene enters the total support payments amount of $18,000 on line 230 of his 2017 tax return. On line 220, he enters $6,000. This is the spousal support amount, which is the deductible part of his support payments.

 

Note

If your court order or written agreement includes support paid for your spouse or common-law partner in a year for which you have already filed a tax return, you can ask for an adjustment. For more information, see How to change your return

Year of change in marital status

If you had to make support payments for a child and you were separated from your spouse or common-law partner for only part of that year because of a breakdown in your relationship, you have a choice. You may claim, whichever of the following is more beneficial to you:

  • any deductible support amounts paid for that year
  • any applicable non-refundable tax credit, if you qualify

You may be able to claim the total spousal support amounts paid for that year and any applicable non-refundable tax credit for your children for which you qualify. However, you may only do so if you had to make spousal support payments and you were separated from your spouse or common-law partner for only part of that year because of a breakdown in your relationship.

If you reconciled before the end of that year and you choose to claim the spouse or common-law partner amount, you may also be able to claim line 326, Amounts transferred from your spouse or common-law partner, of Schedule 1.

For more information on non-refundable tax credits, see the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.

If you are claiming non-refundable tax credit amounts instead of the support payments, enter the total support paid on line 230, and zero on line 220. Otherwise, we will have no record of your payments.

Note

If you have more than one recipient to whom you are making support payments, your tax situation may vary. For more information, see Income Tax Folio S1-F3-C3, Support Payments.

Example – How to report support payments on your tax return

Roger and Mary separated on September 1, 2017. Under the written agreement, beginning on that date Roger pays $300 monthly in spousal support. Mary had no other income in 2017.

When filing his 2017 tax return, Roger could deduct either:

  • the support he paid ($300 × 4 months = $1,200)
  • the spouse or common-law partner amount for Mary (line 303 of Schedule 1)

Since Mary had no other income, Roger would be able to claim the full spouse or common-law partner amount. Therefore, Roger decides to claim the spouse or common-law partner amount at line 303 of Schedule 1 since it is the most beneficial. He should enter the amount of support he paid on line 230 and enter zero on line 220 on his tax return.

Mary has to report the $1,200 she received in support payments on her 2017 tax return.

Retroactive lump-sum payments

You have to give to the recipient a filled out Form T1198, Statement of Qualifying Retroactive Lump Sum Payment, if all the following situations apply:

  • you made one lump-sum payment of at least $3,000
  • the lump–sum payment was made to bring the payments up to date
  • you can deduct the amount
  • the recipient has to report the amount as income

Reimbursement of support payments

If support payments were reimbursed to you because of a court order, you may be able to claim a deduction on lines 156 and 128 of your tax return for the year it is received. It must be included in income if any of the following applies:

  • you deduct the amount on that tax return
  • you deducted it in a previous year

Legal and accounting fees

As the payer, you cannot claim legal and accounting fees on line 220, 221 or 232 incurred to:

  • get a separation or divorce
  • establish, negotiate, or contest the amount of support payments
  • establish child custody or visitation rights

Supporting documents

When you file your tax return, do not send any documents. Keep them in case we ask to see them.

However, if we ask for receipts, acceptable receipts must state your name, the date of payment, and the amount you paid.

Any of the following receipts may be accepted to support your claim:

  • cancelled cheques or cheque images (copies of both sides of the cheque have to be legible)
  • bank and employer statements if they show a transfer of funds from the payer's account or paycheque to either the recipient's account or to a provincial agency and the amounts are equal or less than the amounts specified in the court order or written agreement
  • statement or letter from the maintenance enforcement program (for example, provincial agency) supporting the actual amount of support paid under the court order or written agreement
  • signed receipts from the recipient showing the total amount paid in the year
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