Common-Law Partners and the Child Tax Benefit

On November 13, 2009, Justice Boyle of the Tax Court of Canada dismissed the appeal of Ms. Kimberley Anne Brunette. Ms. Brunette had filed an appeal with respect to the determination by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that she was in a common-law relationship. The effect of CRA’s determination negatively affected her entitlement to the Child Tax Benefit, as well as the GST credit.

In his judgment, Justice Boyle reviewed the case law which defined the phrase “cohabiting in a conjugal relationship”. The case law established six categories of fact that must be examined to determine whether a taxpayer is “cohabiting in a conjugal relationship”. When applied to the facts of this case, he determined that Ms. Brunette was “cohabiting in a conjugal relationship”.