Section 256.74

Table of Contents

See Also

Lavigne v. The Queen, 2011 GSTC 122, 2011 TCC 402 (Informal Procedure)

The Minister denied the taxpayer's s. 256.74 GST rebate on the taxpayer's purchase of her condominium, because, in moving into her condominium, she took "possession" of it in the sense of s. 256.74 before 2008. Although the taxpayer moved into her condominium in 2007, ownership did not pass to her until 2008. She argued that "possession" should be interpreted in a manner consistent with the Civil Code, as the "exercise of a real right." Favreau J. disagreed, noting that s. 256.74 had originally been drafted in English and therefore the common law meaning of "possession," which included mere tenancy, should prevail. He stated (at paras. 18-19):

The concept of "possession" under civil law is irreconcilable with the meaning that Parliament wanted to confer on the term in ETA provisions regarding the transitional rebate, since possession is an attribute of ownership rights.

Since Parliament does not speak in vain, a meaning must be given to the term "possession" for it to have any effect."