Words and Phrases - "heir"

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Estate of Winifred Straessle v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 144

heir could appeal reassessment of wound-up estate

A notice of reassessment of the Quebec estate of Winifred Straessle for its 1992 to 1996 taxation years was sent to the (age 82) daughter (Mrs. Hansen) of Winifred Straessle as the “liquidator of the Estate”. In her objection and subsequent appeal, Mrs. Hansen stated that the estate had been wound-up and that she had never been, an executor, liquidator, trustee or administrator of the Estate. In response, the Crown sought to quash her appeal under Rules 53(3)(b) and (c) on the basis that that the person who filed the Notice of Appeal (Mrs. Hansen) lacked the legal capacity to commence proceeding of the estate.

In finding that Mrs. Hansen could object to and appeal the reassessment in her capacity of heir, notwithstanding that she had not been an executor or other legal representative, Lafleur J stated (at paras 38-40, 43-44):

[T]he word “heir” found in the definition of “person”, the meaning of which is determined in accordance with the applicable private law, does not necessarily have the same meaning as the word “heir” found in the definition of “legal representative of a taxpayer” as defined under subsection 248(1): in order for an “heir” to be a “legal representative of a taxpayer” under that latter definition, the heir must administer, wind-up, control or deal in a representative or fiduciary capacity with the property of the Estate.

Furthermore, if we were to refer to the definition of “legal representative of a taxpayer” found in subsection 248(1) to interpret the word “heir” in the definition of “person”, there would be no need to make reference to “heir” in that latter definition since the definition of “legal representative of a taxpayer” already makes reference to an “heir”. …

[T]he definition of “legal representative of a taxpayer” found in subsection 248(1) does not apply to determine who is a “person” under the Act. …

…Mrs. Hansen qualifies as an heir of the Estate and she is, therefore, a “person” and a “taxpayer” as defined under subsection 248(1). Accordingly, Mrs. Hansen can object to the Reassessments under section 165 and initiate an appeal to this Court under section 169.

I would add that Parliament cannot have intended that an assessment be immune to a judicial challenge.

Words and Phrases
heir
Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 248 - Subsection 248(1) - Person person includes an heir of the person irrespective of also being a legal representative 218