If you and your spouse or common-law partner decide to prepare your returns separately, you’ll need to manually enter some of the information from your spouse’s return on your Schedule 2 and vice versa. This will help determine which federal unused amounts you can transfer from his or her return to claim on yours. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires a Schedule 2 if at any time during the year you were married or common-law.
Note: We recommend that you and your spouse prepare your returns together. You won’t need to complete Schedule 2; H&R Block’s tax software will automatically do it for you based on the information entered in your and your spouse’s returns. Additionally, the tax software will optimize your returns, maximizing the credits and deductions you have claimed.
Some of the unused amounts you might be able to transfer from your spouse include the:
- Age amount
- Canada caregiver amount for children under 18
- Pension income amount
- Disability amount
- Tuition amount
Note: If you were separated from your spouse because of a breakdown in your relationship for a period of 90 days or more including December 31, 2018, you can’t claim a transfer of any unused amounts from your spouse.
Provincial Schedule 2
If you’re eligible to claim the federal unused amount from your spouse, you’re also entitled to claim the corresponding provincial tax credit on the provincial Schedule 2 (S2), which might vary in amount depending on the province or territory you live in:
Completing the Schedule 2 page
When completing Schedule 2, make sure that you enter your spouse’s federal amounts as they appear on his or her return. To help you find the amounts you need on your spouse’s return, H&R Block’s tax software will show the amount’s respective line number.
Note: If your spouse is transferring tuition amount(s) to you, enter the specific amount that he or she designated as a transfer to you. The federal tuition amount designated for transfer can be found on line 327 of the federal Schedule 11 and provincial tuition amount for transfer can be found on line 5290 of his or her provincial Schedule 11.
If your spouse isn’t filing a return, simply enter the amounts they would’ve entered on their own return. You can get these amounts from their information slips.
Remember, be careful when filling out Schedule 2; if the information you enter is inaccurate, it could mean delays, interest charges, or penalties from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you’re eligible for the provincial credits and tax reductions that are available for lower income taxpayers, make sure you enter your spouse’s income. If you and your spouse are higher income taxpayers, an estimate is fine.
Once you’ve entered the amounts on Schedule 2, H&R Block’s tax software will automatically determine which federal and provincial amounts can be transferred and claimed.
How can I complete my Schedule 2 when my spouse needs my information to complete his Schedule 2?
You should complete the return of the lower income spouse first (since certain amounts like childcare expenses must be claimed by the lower income spouse) and skip Schedule 2. Download their PDF tax summary from the SUMMARY page on the WRAP-UP tab. You’ll be able to see the required information like your spouse’s net income and any unused amounts to complete your Schedule 2. Once you’ve completed your return, go back to your spouse’s return to complete their Schedule 2.
What do I do if I'm separated and I don’t know my ex-spouse’s income amounts for the year?
Unfortunately, you still have to estimate and enter amounts, based on what you know. For example, if you have a separation agreement, you might be able to estimate your ex-spouse’s income from there. Your spouse’s net income is needed to calculate certain dependant related credits and social benefits (such as the Canada child benefit, GST/HST credit, and working income tax benefit), which are based on the net family income from the previous year. A change in your marital status results in a re-calculation of these benefit amounts
You separated from your spouse in 2018 and received full custody of your two children. At the time of your separation, neither you nor your spouse received the GST/HST credit as your 2017 net family income was too high. However, now that you’re a single parent with two children in your care, the CRA might find that you’re entitled to the GST/HST credit.
Keep in mind, if you enter amounts that are too low, you might end up claiming benefits that you’re not entitled to or receiving amounts that are higher than they should be. This might result in the CRA clawing back these benefits, and you having to pay interest charges and penalties.
Where can I enter these amounts?
Follow these steps in H&R Block’s 2018 tax software:
- Under the PREPARE tab, click the REQUIRED icon. You'll find yourself here:
- Navigate to the Your spouse's return link. Y
- Enter information from your spouse’s return into the designated fields on this page.