Do Child Support Payers Have to Provide Their Complete Tax Returns Every Year? Or Just Their Notice of Assessment?

The Child Support Guidelines (sections 3 and 24.1) contemplate that the amount of child support will be reviewed every year. This is consistent with the objectives of the Guidelines, to ensure that children benefit from the financial means of their parents. That would not occur if one parent started making a lot more (or a lot less) and the amount of Child Support did not change to reflect that.

To ensure that the correct amount of child support is paid every year, the Guidelines require parents to exchange income information, every year. It does not matter whether child support is owed pursuant to an agreement or court order. Section 24.1 of the Child Support Guidelines reads as follows:

24.1 (1) Every person whose income or other financial information is used to determine the amount of an order for the support of a child shall, no later than 30 days after the anniversary of the date on which the order was made in every year in which the child is a child within the meaning of this Regulation, provide every party to the order with the following, unless the parties have agreed otherwise:

1. For the most recent taxation year, a copy of the person’s,

i. personal income tax return, including any materials that were filed with the return, and

ii. notice of assessment and, if any, notice of reassessment.

2. As applicable, any current information in writing about,

i. the status and amount of any expenses included in the order pursuant to subsection 7 (1), and

ii. any loan, scholarship or bursaries the child has received or will receive in the coming year that affects or will affect the expenses referred to in subparagraph i. O. Reg. 25/10, s. 6.

Notices of assessment

(2) If the person has not received his or her notice of assessment or notice of reassessment for the most recent taxation year by the date referred to in subsection (1), the person shall provide every party to the order with a copy of the notice as soon as possible after the person receives the notice. O. Reg. 25/10, s. 6.

Change in address

(3) If the address at which a party receives documents changes, the party shall, at least 30 days before the next anniversary of the date on which the order was made, give written notice of his or her updated address information to every person required to provide documents and information under subsection (1). O. Reg. 25/10, s. 6.

Failure to comply

(4) If a person required to provide a document or information under this section fails to do so, a court may, on application by the party who did not receive the document or information, make one or more of the following orders:

1. An order finding the person to be in contempt of court.

2. An order awarding costs in favour of the applicant up to an amount that fully compensates the applicant for all costs incurred in the proceedings.

3. An order requiring the person to provide the document or information to,

i. i. the court,

ii. the applicant, and

iii. any other party to the domestic contract or other written agreement to whom the person did not provide the document or information when required to do so. O. Reg. 25/10, s. 8.

the person did not provide the document or information when required to do so. O. Reg. 25/10, s. 6.

Section 25.1 requires disclosure of the same information when support is due pursuant to a domestic contract. Where the support payer earns a substantial part of his/her income from sources other than employment, section 25 of the Child Support Guidelines requires additional disclosure.

John Schuman Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law book cover

You can get a lot more information about Ontario Family Law issues, including a comprehensive explanation of parenting cases (parenting time and decision making), child support, spousal support, property division, and most other common family law issues by downloading this $9.99 Kindle eBook, Kobo eBook, or iBook for your iPad or iPhone or ordering it from Amazon as a paperback. But to understand how the law works precisely in your situation, it is always best to speak to a good Family Law Lawyer.

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