Biya – Tax Court of Canada finds that a taxpayer who worked on a long-time basis in Ethiopia with a home there nonetheless resided in Canada

The taxpayer came to Canada from Ethiopia in 1981 but, following his separation from his wife, worked in Ethiopia from 2006 to 2015 for Canadian-headquartered companies while maintaining a home with a live-in girlfriend there. MacPhee J found that the taxpayer nonetheless continued to ordinarily reside in Canada in light of his continued substantial personal ties with Canada including friends and three children, as reflected in the fact that in 2013 (the taxation year in issue) he spent almost as much time in Canada as in Ethiopia. In addition his pay cheques were deposited in Canada. MacPhee J stated that the taxpayer might also be resident in Ethiopia, given that “a party can be a resident in two places at the same time,” but that if instead there had to be a finding of a single country of residence, the evidence was “stronger in support of his residence being in Canada, as opposed to Ethiopia.”

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Biya v. The Queen, 2020 TCC 113 under s. 2(1).