The place of residence of an individual is a fundamental tax
concept which determines, among other things, his liability for
provincial income tax. under the Taxation Act,1
an individual is subject to tax for a given year if he resides in
Quebec on December 31 of that year. the tax base then consists of
the individual's income from all sources, except for business
income from a Canadian establishment situated outside Quebec.
The fact that an individual moves from a province to another
usually results in a change of his place of residence for
provincial tax purposes. However, it may happen that some
residential ties with the province of origin remain, with
unanticipated and unwanted results, as shown by a recent decision
of the Court of Quebec in the case of Perron c.
L'Agence du revenu du Québec.2
In that case, the taxpayer was challenging assessments made by
revenu Québec for taxation years 2005 to 2007, arguing that
he was a resident of Alberta during the relevant period. the
taxpayer, an engineer, had held various positions in Quebec prior
to moving in Alberta in May 2005 after finding permanent employment
there. From that time on, the taxpayer had rented a dwelling unit
in Alberta and had purchased furniture for it. He also had opened a
bank account and became a member of the Association of Professional
engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.
However, the taxpayer had retained several residential ties with
Quebec during years 2005 to 2007, particularly the following:
His spouse, to whom he was married since 1985, and his son had
continued residing in Quebec despite the departure of the taxpayer
for Alberta. the taxpayer was neither divorced or separated under a
judgment or a written agreement.
the taxpayer had remained co-owner with his spouse of the
family residence located in Beauport.
the taxpayer had continued to provide for the financial needs
of his son and to assume certain maintenance expenses of the
residence located in Quebec.
the taxpayer had stayed in Quebec every three months for
periods of four or five days. When doing so, he was staying at his
residence in Beauport.
the taxpayer had retained his Quebec driver's licence and
maintained is eligibility to the Quebec health insurance
the taxpayer had remained a member of the Ordre des
ingénieurs du Québec.
the taxpayer had continued to use the postal address of his
Beauport residence, particularly with respect to his credit
the taxpayer was the owner of a vehicle registered in Quebec,
which he had given to his son in 2009.
The Court determined that the taxpayer had provided prima
facie evidence that his tax residence was located in Alberta
during years 2005 to 2007, particularly by establishing the
permanent nature of his position in Alberta and the low frequency
of his visits in Quebec. the tax authorities thus had the burden to
prove that the residence of the taxpayer had remained in
After reviewing the case law, the Court concluded that revenu
Québec had established, by preponderance of evidence, that
the taxpayer had retained his tax residence in Quebec during the
disputed period by reason of the absence of severance of
residential ties with Quebec.
The judge particularly noted the absence of evidence
corroborating the separation between the taxpayer and his spouse.
According to the Court, several factors rather indicated that the
spousal link was maintained between them. In addition, the taxpayer
failed to establish sufficient connection to Alberta, except for
This decision of the Court of Quebec, which was not appealed,
underlines the importance of severing all residential ties with
Quebec when moving to another province, particularly if the tax
regime of the other province is less onerous. the place of
residence is a complex issue which has to be decided according to
the legislation in force and applicable case law. Any individual
who maintains a more or less important presence in more than one
province would be well-advised to consult a professional in this
1 RLRQ RSQRE c. I-3.
2 2013 QCCQ 3271.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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