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As a married taxpayer, is it better to file my tax return together with my spouse, or separately?

Though the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), requires each taxpayer to file their own return (meaning even if you are married, you must submit your own individual tax return),  there can be several pros and cons in choosing how to file your return as a married taxpayer.

*Note: The CRA will wait to process spousal returns until both have been received. Your return will not be processed quicker if completed before your spouse.

Filing a joint return:


  • Information for both spouses is prepared and entered together
  • Your credits and benefits are automatically maximized
  • The process of transferring amounts between spouses, splitting pension, and dealing with RRSPs is easier


  • You must use the same version of TurboTax software (and for TurboTax Online users, pay the same price)

Filing separate returns:


  • Allows you to enter separate addresses
  • Each person can do their own return, in the version of TurboTax software that works for them


  • You will need to manually enter in all your spouse's information
  • You may need to fill in more information, and do more manual calculations

Related information:

How do I add my spouse's tax return when preparing my own?

Why does my spouse's income lower my return amount?

What is the spouse/common-law partner amount?

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