A recipient can deduct, on line 221 of their income tax and benefits return, legal fees incurred to:

– collect late support payments;
– establish the amount of support payments from their current or former spouse or common-law partner;
– establish the amount of support payments from the legal parent of their child (who is not their current or former spouse or common-law partner) where the support is payable under the terms of a court order; or
– try to get an increase in support payments.
A recipient can also deduct, on line 232 of their income tax and benefit return, legal fees incurred to try to make child support payments non taxable.

 

A recipient cannot claim legal fees incurred to:

– get a separation or divorce; or

– establish, negotiate, or contest the amount of support payments; or

– establish child custody or visitation rights.

Legal fees paid to collect a lump-sum payment, which does not qualify as a support payment are not deductible

 

Supporting documents

When you file your income tax and benefit return, do not send any documents. Keep them in case we ask to see them.

However, if we ask for receipts, acceptable receipts must indicate your name, the date of payment, and the amount you paid.

Any of the following receipts may be accepted to support your claim:

  • cancelled cheques or cheque images (you must submit legible photocopies of both sides of the cheque);
  • bank and employer statements if they indicate a transfer of funds from the payer’s account or paycheque to either the recipient’s account or to a provincial agency and the amounts are equal or less than the amounts specified in the court order or written agreement;
  • statement or letter from the maintenance enforcement program (for example, provincial agency) supporting the actual amount of support paid under the court order or written agreement; or
  • signed receipts from the recipient showing the total amount paid in the year.