December 28, 2012 - Are You Part of the IN Crowd?

Are You Part of the IN Crowd?

An income tax shall be paid…[by] every person resident in Canada at any time in the year.” (emphasis mine). So reads the Income Tax Act section 2(1). If you  do not match these requirements then you are not required to pay any “income tax.” What then does “resident ‘in’ Canada” really mean? What does ‘in’ mean in the language of statutes and of law?

in, prep. Under or based on the law of <to bring an action in contract>. Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Ed. (emphasis mine)

Since ‘in’ is found in a Law Dictionary it is not just a word, it is a legal term meaning under. Should you agree to being considered as a “resident under Canada” you would be responsibility to pay the tax. What is Canada, the land mass or is it something else in legal documents? The term “Canada" is defined in the Constitution Act 1867 as:

4. Unless it is otherwise expressed or implied, the Name Canada shall be taken to mean Canada as constituted under this Act(emphasis mine)

constitute ...give legal or constitutional form to (an institution); establish by law. Copyright © 2012 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved 

Unless otherwise expressed or implied, the name Canada does not represent the geographical land mass. Being constituted by an Act, Canada, as with all entities created by legislature, is a legal entity, a mere corporation. Residence ‘in’ Canada then would require that we too are  legal entities since only a legal entity can reside in, or be a subdivision of, another legal entity. Our silence or absence of rebuttal, gives consent to their assumption and we become liable. By verbal or written rebuttal we can defeat that assumption. We cannot then be liable for that tax.

So, would we be better to clarify that we live “on” the “geographical land mass known as Canada” or simple deny being "resident in Canada"?

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