Bernardin – Court of Quebec finds that interest that accrued prior to a class action judgment having become res judicata was non-taxable

An individual, by virtue of being part of a group of class action claimants, was awarded damages in 2004 of $1,200 for each of the eight winter seasons in which she had endured snowmobile noise. In 2010 she received a supplementary “indemnity” pursuant to Article 1619 of the Quebec Civil Code of $8,400 (capital) and $6,148 (interest). Whether the interest was taxable under the Taxation Act turned on when her damages were considered to have become “liquidated.”

Coutlée, J.C.Q. found that this liquidation date did not occur until July 3, 2009, being the date on which the Attorney General of Quebec abandoned the appeal which had been launched in December 2004 (reasoning that it was only on that date that “the November 30, 2004 judgment attained the status of res judicata”) – so that only the awarded interest that was referable to the period after July 3, 2009 was taxable to the individual.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Bernardin v. Agence du revenu du Québec, 2019 QCCQ 846 under s. 12(1)(c).