Claiming an eligible dependant
You can claim the amount for an eligible dependant if at any time during the year, you met all of the following conditions at the same time:
- You didn’t have a spouse or common-law partner or, if you did, you weren’t living with them, supporting them, or being supported by them
- You supported a dependant in 2020 and
- You lived with the dependant (in most cases, in Canada) in a home you maintained. You can’t claim this amount for a person that only visited you temporarily
In addition to meeting all of these conditions, the dependant in question must have been either:
- Your parent or grandparent, either by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption or
- Your child, grandchild, brother, or sister either by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption and under the age of 18 or suffered from a physical or mental impairment
Even if you meet all of the conditions listed above, you still might not be eligible to claim this amount on your return. For complete details, refer to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) site.
Important: Unfortunately, the CRA doesn’t allow you to claim both the eligible dependant amount and the spousal amount for the same tax year. If you're eligible to claim both, you'll need to choose one or the other.
Note: If you have more than one dependant, choose the dependant with the lowest net income in order to maximize your benefit from this tax credit. If all your dependants have the same net income, or zero net income, it doesn’t matter which one you choose.
If you’re eligible to claim the federal amount, you’re also entitled to claim a corresponding provincial tax credit, which might vary in amount depending on which province or territory you live in:
No, if you're paying child support for your child, you can't claim him or her as an eligible dependant. Refer to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website for more information.
Follow these steps in H&R Block’s 2020 tax software:
- On the WRAP-UP tab, click the OPTIMIZATION icon. You will find yourself here:
- On the Dependant amounts page, answer Yes to the question, Would you like to claim the eligible dependant amount?.
- Select which eligible dependant you’d like to claim. If you have more than one dependant, it’s recommended that you choose the one with the lowest income, if applicable.