Student Paper Award

The Canadian Tax Foundation-Jean Potvin Award for Quebec 2011-12

Catherine Major

The Canadian Tax Foundation is pleased to announce that Catherine Major is the winner of the Canadian Tax Foundation-Jean Potvin Award for the best Quebec student paper of 2001-12 dealing with an aspect of Canadian taxation. Ms. Major’s paper, “Paragraphe 160(1) LIR: Surprise, vous êtes solidairement responsable de l’impôt impayé d’un tiers!” was written for the Master of Law program, Taxation option at HEC Montreal. Catherine obtained her Bachelor of Law from the University of Montreal in 2008. She has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 2009 and is currently practising at the firm Bourassa Boyer Juri-Fisc inc.


Subsection 160 (1) of the Income Tax Act, which allows the Canada Revenue Agency to assess, under certain circumstances, a third party for the tax debts of a person with whom he is does not deal at arm’s-length, is a collection provision frequently used by the tax authorities. The author identifies some issues surrounding the application of this measure through a detailed analysis of the measure, a comparison with other sections of the Act, and a brief review of the relevant case law.

Included in the author’s analysis is an examination of the application of subsection 160 (1) ITA in the context of transfers between spouses or common-law partners, payments of dividends, and transfers among members of the same family.

The author concludes by proposing certain solutions that might be applied in order to ensure that the authorities retain an effective way of collecting their debts while at the same time avoiding some of the injustices that can arise when subsection 160 (1) ITA is applied in its current form

(April 2013)