When to couple returns for a part-year resident or non-resident spouse?
Do not couple the returns if the principal taxpayer was a resident for the full year and the spouse was a non-resident for the full year. Both taxpayers must have the same residency to have a coupled return.
Only complete a return for a non-resident spouse if he/she earned income that was taxable in Canada and that was not already subject to withholding taxes. Examples include employment income, self-employment income, or capital gains. Dividends, interest and rental income would already have been subject to withholding taxes.
You may couple returns if the spouse arrived in or left Canada during the year. Add the entry or exit date on the spouse's Info worksheet and use the spouse's Immigrant/Emigrant worksheet to enter the details of income earned before/after entering/exiting Canada and determine whether the spouse's non-refundable tax credits can be prorated.