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Updated: 2017-03-07

Family returns allow you to prepare full tax returns for the taxpayer, spouse/partner and any number of dependants in a single TaxCycle T1 file. (Family returns are not supported for 2012 returns.)

If you want to enter and claim dependant tax credits without preparing the tax return for the dependant, you don't need to create a family return. Instead, complete and review the DepDepEx and DepCredSum worksheets. To learn more, read the Dependant tax credits (Dep, DepEx and DepCredSum) help topic.

The difference between adding a dependant to a family return and using the Dep worksheet

When you add a dependant to a family return, you create a NEW return for a person who may have their own income to report and credits to claim. Family returns allow you to prepare full tax returns for the taxpayer, spouse/partner and any number of dependants in a single TaxCycle T1 file.

To claim amounts and credits for a dependant under 18 years of age, use the Dep worksheet. This worksheet provides detailed calculations or data entry for specific dependant-related credits, such as:

  • Tuition, education and textbook transfers from a child
  • Fitness, art and child-care expenses
  • Disability amount transfer
  • Provincial claims
Dependant in a family return Dep worksheet

Added to a principal taxpayer's return to complete a full tax return for the dependant. If a taxpayer is single, separated, widowed or divorced, you can still add dependants' returns without having a spouse/partner return in the file. 

Completed in the principal taxpayer's return to claim tax credits without preparing a full tax return for the dependant. 
The Dep worksheet shows in both the principal taxpayer and spouse returns.  The Dep worksheet shows in both the principal taxpayer and spouse returns. 
Shares tax credits between from the dependant's return with family members. TaxCycle transfers unused credits to the supporting taxpayer(s). Allows you to claim amounts for dependants under 18 years of age.
You must file the tax return for the dependant. You do not need to file the tax return for the dependant.
Dependant appears on the Family summary. Dependant does not appear on the Family summary.

Carry forward of family returns

TaxCycle will carry forward family returns from Cantax® T1Taxprep® T1, and DT Max® to create a single TaxCycle file containing the taxpayer/spouse and dependants.

When you carry forward family linked returns from ProFile® T1, carry forward the taxpayer/spouse file and then each dependant file separate. This creates a new file for the taxpayer and spouse, and then also separate files for each of the dependants. You must then add these dependant files to the taxpayer/spouse return to create a family return (see instructions below). 

Learn more about carrying forward from other software in the Carry forward returns help topic.

Create a return for the principal taxpayer

All family returns begin with creating the return for the principal taxpayer:

  1. Start a new file or carry forward a file from the prior year. 
  2. Enter the principal taxpayer's name, social insurance number and address on the Info worksheet.

Adding a spouse or partner is optional. If a taxpayer is single, separated, widowed or divorced, you can still add dependants returns without having a spouse/partner return in the file. To learn more about adding a return for a spouse/partner, read the Couple/uncouple spouses help topic.

Dep worksheet

If you are not completing a full return for the dependant, and the principal taxpayer and/or spouse/partner needs to claim dependant tax credits, enter dependant information on the Dep worksheet. There is no need to create a full tax return for the dependant. Read the Dependant tax credits (Dep, DepEx and DepCredSum) help topic for information you can enter directly on the Dep worksheet.

The Dep worksheet is also used to calculate all the amounts transferred from a dependant, even when you complete a full return for the dependant. Read the Dependant tax credits (Dep, DepEx and DepCredSum) help topic for more information.

Add a dependant return

If you want to prepare a full return for the dependant (for instance, if the dependant has their own income to report and credits to claim), you can add a dependant return into the family file so TaxCycle transfers unused credits to the supporting taxpayer. 

To add a dependant return:

  1. Click once on the list of taxpayers above the sidebar, or on the Switch taxpayers button on the Home menu. 
  2. If there is already a Dep worksheet for the dependant in the file, the dependant's name will appear in the list. Click this name to create the return.
  3. If you need to add a dependant that isn't already on a Dep worksheet, select Add dependant  at the bottom of the list.
  4. In the dialog box that appears:
    1. Do not choose to Show the Dep worksheet for the dependant. This is for navigation only.
    2. Select Create a new return and click OK if you do not already have separate TaxCycle file for the dependant's tax return. If you've already entered the dependant's information on the Dep worksheet, TaxCycle inserts this information into the dependant's Info worksheet. 
    3. Select Open an existing return and click OK to browse for the file. TaxCycle will insert the information from that file into the family file, It also will give you the option of deleting the old for the dependant.
  5. Save (Ctrl+S) the file. 

Add a full return for a dependant

 

Married dependants

Optimization calculations take into account all the taxpayers in the file: principal taxpayer, spouse/partner, and any dependants. Dependants can also be married or common-law. For example, a couple who has an married parents living with them. 

To trigger optimizations in these situations:

  1. Create a return for the principal taxpayer. If required, add a spouse or common-law partner and couple the returns. 
  2. Add a full return for the first dependant. Make sure to enter the social insurance number (SIN) on the Info worksheet.
  3. Add a second full return for the dependant's spouse/partner. Make sure to enter the SIN on the Info worksheet.
  4. On the Info worksheet in each dependant return, set the marital status to either Married or Common-law.
  5. On the Info worksheet in one of the married dependants returns, add the SIN number for the other married dependant the Spouse section. Once it is in there, the two returns link up and data transfers between them.

Configure a link between married dependants

Navigation tips for family returns

  • Press the F5 key to toggle between taxpayer and spouse/partner. This will take you to the same form in each return.
  • Press Ctrl+F5 to open a dependant return and toggle between dependant returns in the file. This will take you to the same form in each return.
  • Press Alt+F5 to cycle between all family members, spouse, partner and all dependants.
  • To switch to a dependant return, use the drop-down list in the sidebar or click on Switch taxpayer on the Home menu. This takes you to the last form you were on in each return.
  • To open the Dep worksheet for a dependant for whom you don't have a full return, choose their name from the drop-down list in the sidebar or click on Switch taxpayer on the Home menu and then choose Show the Dep worksheet.
  • The colour of the taxpayer icon will change to match the form colour set for dependants in T1/TP1 options. To set the colour of for Dependant returns, go to the File menu and click on Options. Then, expand T1/TP1 and click on General.)
  • Press Ctrl+Tab to jump to any open form on any return in the file, including spouses and dependants.

Change the colour of dependant returns

  1. From the Start screen, click Options in the blue bar on the left side. If you have a file open, go to the File menu, then click Options
  2. On the left, expand T1/TP1 and click on General to apply the settings to all years. To set different options for a particular year, expand the section and click on a year.
  3. On the right, choose a colour set for Dependant returns. This colour is the background colour for the forms and also the colour of the taxpayer icon in the taxpayer drop-down. 

Set the colour for dependant returns


Claim dependant tax credits

Use the Dep worksheet in the supporting taxpayer's return even if you are preparing the a full return for the dependant. In cases where the amounts transfer from data entered on the dependants tax return, they will appear in blue on the Dep worksheet.

To learn more about the dependant worksheet calculations and credits, read the Dependant tax credits (Dep, DepEx and DepCredSum) help topic.

For details on calculating and claiming specific credits, see:

  • Child-care expenses—Enter receipts on the DepEx worksheet or directly on the T778 federal form. See the Child care expenses (T778) help topic for more information.
  • Disability amount transfer—Check the claim the disability amount checkbox at the top of the Dep worksheet and enter a few other amounts in the appropriate section on the Dep worksheet. See the Disability amount (T2201) help topic.
  • Fitness and art expenses—Enter receipts for one child directly on the Dep worksheet, or enter all the receipts for several children on the DepEx worksheet and let TaxCycle organize them. See the Fitness and art amounts help topic for more information.
  • Tuition, education and textbook transfers from a child—Enter amounts on the dependant's Tuition worksheet and select the option to transfer credits at the top of the dependant's S11. Learn more in the Tuition (S11, T2202A, TL11) help topic.
  • Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) & Canada Child Benefit (CCB)—For 2016 and prior returns, enter any UCCB received on the RC62. See the RC62 (UCCB statement) help topic for more information. For 2016 and onward, the CCB is non-taxable and does not require you enter information. However, you can estimate  the CCB payments for the coming year on the CCB worksheet.

New Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC)

For 2017, the new Canada caregiver credit (CCC) replaces three previous credits: the caregiver credit, the family caregiver credit, and the credit for infirm dependants age 18 or older. However, unlike the previous caregiver credit, it does not apply to people supporting a parent or grandparent, who is 65 years of age or older, living with them, and who does not have a physical or mental impairment. For full details on eligibility for the CCC, read this page on the CRA website

Track status of family returns

If you have set the option to update the workflow status when saving the file, you can set the status for any full returns within the file.

  1. On the left, click on the person's name.
  2. On the right, check any items as complete. 
  3. History of the file lists all actions in the file, for all taxpayer returns in the file, so you have a complete audit trail of return preparation.
  4. This is the same information you will see if you click on File menu and then go to Info. (Remember if there are many dependants or many workflow items, you can scroll through the list.)

workflow-family

Transmit/EFILE all family members' returns at once

You can EFILE the return for each family member just as you would for an individual taxpayer, or you can transmit all returns for a family in one step. Read the Transmit family help topic to learn more.

Print/PDF all family members' returns at once

Print each return separately using the Print sidebar, or you can print all returns for a family at once. Go to the File menu and then click Print family.

Family returns in the Client Manager

The principal taxpayer, spouse/partner and each dependant appear separately in the Client Manager, even though they are part of the same file. 

  1. In the preview of the return the Client Card view, you'll see the relationships between the individual taxpayers.
  2. For the principal taxpayer and spouse/partner returns, you can click on the link to the related Dep worksheet to jump right into the return.

Family summary

The Family summary in TaxCycle T1/TP1 provides comparative summary of all family members in the return. Dependants are only included if they are full returns, not if they are only listed on the Dep worksheet.  

  1. This summary displays the principal taxpayer, spouse/partner and all dependant returns. 
  2. Like the T1 Summary, it only displays relevant fields from the return, so it is compact and easy to explain to your clients.
  3. Double-click on any amount on the summary to jump to the relevant form and field in the tax return.
  4. If you're using the Tab key to move from one amount to the next, press F6 to jump to the source field.
  5. If you add review marks and memos to any of the fields on this summary, they also appear on the source field.

family-summary

Uncouple/detach a return

  1. Open a coupled or family tax return.
  2. Click the Detach Taxpayer button in the Home menu.
  3. You can also do this by clicking the icon to the right of the taxpayer's name in the drop-down menu in the sidebar and from the Switch Taxpayer button in the Home menu.
  4. In the dialog box that opens, choose which taxpayer to detach from the file and click Detach return.
  5. TaxCycle creates and opens a new file for that taxpayer. 
  6. If you checked Immediately save both files and update the Client Manager, TaxCycle saves the files right away. If not, save (Ctrl+S) the new files.

uncouple-return