Court of Québec could make order against bank operating in Quebec for failure to comply with demand

Tax - Provincial taxation - Quebec

Powers of tax authorities. Trust maintained bank account in branch of bank located in Calgary. Agence du revenu du Québec (ARQ) audited trust to determine trust’s residence for tax purposes . It sent formal demand for information and documents pursuant to s. 39 of Tax Administration Act (TAA) to branch in question. Sole trustee of trust brought motion to quash demand. Trial judge dismissed trustee’s motion, finding that demand fell under s. 462(2) of Bank Act (BA) . Trustee appealed. . Quebec Court of Appeal upheld trial judge’s decision and affirmed ARQ’s authority under s. 39 TAA . In Court of Appeal’s view, demand had been properly sent according to requirements of s. 462(2) BA. Trustee appealed to Supreme Court of Canada. Appeal dismissed. ARQ was required by s. 462(2) BA to send demand to Calgary branch. Section 462(2) BA does not treat bank’s branches as distinct from bank itself. Given that bank in question operated in Quebec, Court of Québec could make order against it for failure to comply with demand . Hence, complying with requirement of s. 462(2) BA did not render ARQ’s actions extraterritorial . Therefore, ARQ’s actions were not ultra vires.

1068754 Alberta Ltd. v. Québec (Agence du revenu) (2019), 2019 CarswellQue 4885, 2019 CarswellQue 4886, 2019 SCC 37, 2019 CSC 37, Wagner C.J.C., Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Gascon J., Côté J., Brown J., Rowe J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellQue 2, 2018 QCCA 8, Vézina J.C.A., Marcotte J.C.A., and Hogue J.C.A. (C.A. Que.).

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