Therrien – Court of Quebec finds that the adult daughter of the taxpayer’s ex-common law partner was the taxpayer’s “child”

When the handicapped daughter (“V”) of the taxpayer’s ex-common law partner was 22, she started living with the taxpayer. Whether the taxpayer (Therrien) was able to claim medical tax credits for expenses associated with V turned on whether V was a “child” of the taxpayer. The relevant part of the Quebec Taxation Act definition of “child” (which was essentially the same as ITA s. 252(1)(b)) referred to:

a person who is wholly dependent on the taxpayer for support and of whom the taxpayer has, or immediately before such person attained the age of 19 years did have, in law or in fact, the custody and control

This reference to “custody and control … in law or in fact” might have, but did not, give Massol JCQ difficulty given that V was an adult who was with him purely as a matter of choice. He simply stated:

The evidence establishes that in 2011 and 2012, V was wholly dependent on Richard Therrien and that he had custody and control of her in fact.

Accordingly, the taxpayer got the credits.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Therrien v. Agence du revenu du Québec, 2019 QCCQ 28 under s. 252(1)(b).