If you are in receipt of Canada Child Benefits you may be contacted by CRA and requested to support your eligibility or entitlement to these benefits. In general, there are three main topics of review:

1- Marital status

2- Residency

3- Primary caregiver

In most situations the documentation that will be requested is listed below. However, there are circumstances where the requested information will be specific to the individual’s situation and may not be included here.


1- Marital status

In most situations when CRA validates marital status they are looking for proof that you are not living with a spouse or common-law partner.

For the purpose of administering Canada Child Benefits you are not considered to be separated if you made a decision to separate, but continue to reside in the same household or following a period of living separate and apart, now share a household.

It is also important to note that a common-law relationship begins on the earlier of the following two events:

  • After you live together for a period of 12 months; or
  • The day you have a child by birth or adoption together.

If you are contacted by CRA and requested to support your marital status, the following documentation may be requested:

  • Documentation to support your current address such as:

a) Property tax bills;
b) Mortgage papers;
c) Rental/lease agreement or a letter from the landlord;
d) Insurance policies;
e) Utility bills (gas, electricity, cable television);
f) Employer medical or dental plan;
g) RRSPs or employment pension plan naming the beneficiary for the period under review;
h) Driver’s license and vehicle registration (front and back);
i) Other bills or letters (with letterhead) that show the residential addresses.

  • Letters from two different third parties containing the following information:

a) The name and signature of the writer;
b) The profession of the writer;
c) The writer’s contact information, including address and telephone number;
d) The writer must attest that they have personal knowledge that the recipient did not reside with the other individual during the period of separation;
e) Period(s) of separation.

  • A separation agreement/divorce decree, providing it shows different addresses for you and your former spouse/common-law partner, covering the period under review.
  • Examples of third parties who can complete the letter:

a) your employer
b) social worker
c) school authorities
d) insurance company
e) bank manager or officer with financial signing authority
f) clergy
g) medical doctor
h) lawyer
i) notary (in the province of Quebec)
j) post master

2- Residency

If there is an uncertainty about where an individual is residing CRA may need to confirm that the individual is considered a resident of Canada for tax purposes.

If you are contacted by CRA and requested to support your residential status, the following documentation may be requested:

  • A completed NR73 form, Determination of Residency Status (Leaving Canada), includes:
  • The purpose of your stay outside Canada.
  • List of the ties you maintained in Canada during any absence such as:

a) Health care coverage;
b) Driver’s license;
c) Availability of a residence;
d) Memberships in social or professional organizations;
e) Bank accounts.

  • Other ties to Canada and abroad.

3- Primary caregiver

The primary caregiver must live with the child and be the individual who primarily fulfills the responsibility for the care and upbringing of the child.

To determine who the primary caregiver of the children is, you may be requested to provide documents to support that the children resided with you during the period under review:

  • A list of all the children who have been living with you and their dates of birth.
  • Proof of birth for the children.
  • Documentation from the following sources for the period under review:
  • A letter from the nursery or school authorities indicating the contact information on file for the children, if applicable.
  • A letter from your family doctor/dentist confirming the children are under the doctor/dentist’s care and indicating with whom the children resided with.
  • A copy of the children’s report card indicating the contact information on file for the children.
  • A copy of the child’s registration/enrolment document or information/emergency contact sheet signed and certified by the school to be a true copy.
  • A letter from the school board or appropriate educational authority confirming that you have a home school arrangement, if your child(ren) is being home schooled.
  • A registration form or a receipt from an activity or club the child was enrolled in for.
  • A complete and signed court order, decree or separation agreement; the documentation must detail the type of custody arrangement (for example, shared custody) and accurately reflect the living arrangement for the child(ren).
  • Any other documentation indicating that the children resided with you during this period.