Zheng – Tax Court of Canada finds that an HST rebate form was signed and completed in the name of an individual who was acting as agent

An individual (Kwong) and his ex-wife (Yu-Lian), who lived along with their daughter in Vancouver, got the younger sister of Yu-Lian (Qun) to purchase a new house in the Markham area for their daughter to live at while she attended university at U of T. Although Qun was named in the purchase agreement and in the application for the Ontario new home rebate application (that was signed by her), all the funds for the purchase came from Kwong and Yu-Lian, Kwong took title to the property and the rebate was credited against the purchase price paid by him at closing.

Russell J found not only that Qun’s role in the purchase transaction was as agent for Kwong, but that:

The Rebate application was not made by Qun…on her own behalf but rather by her in her capacity as agent for…Kwong… .

No worries if your client is AWOL and today is the filing deadline? Although this decision is an authority that, in the appropriate circumstances, a CRA form can be signed by someone as agent even where there is no written authorization from the principal, it goes further than that as Qun was also named as the purchaser in the rebate form.

Qun’s appeal was allowed - rather than being dismissed on the basis that the rebate instead belonged to Kwong (before giving effect to its assignment to the builder). This may imply that Qun was considered to have also appealed as agent.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Zheng v. The Queen, 2017 TCC 132 under ETA s. 254(2)(b).