Solidary Liability

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Certain persons may be held solidarily liable with an employer for the payment of the employer's source deductions and employer contributions. Such persons include:

  • directors of a corporation;
  • members of a partnership;
  • businesses that offer payroll management and processing services.

Directors of a corporation

Source deductions

If a corporation fails to make source deductions of income tax, the corporation and its directors are not liable for the amounts, unless the source deductions that should have been made relate to remuneration paid to a person not resident in Canada.

However, the corporation and its directors in office at the time of the omission are solidarily liable for the payment of any penalties and interest related to the source deductions that the corporation should have made and remitted.

If a corporation fails to remit any source deductions of income tax that it made, the corporation and its directors in office at the time of the omission are solidarily liable for the payment of the amounts, including any related penalties and interest.

QPP contributions and QPIP premiums

If a corporation fails to withhold or remit Québec Pension Plan (QPP) contributions or Québec parental insurance plan (QPIP) premiums, the corporation and its directors in office at the time of the omission are solidarily liable for the payment of the amounts not withheld or not remitted, including any related penalties and interest.

Other employer contributions

If a corporation fails to remit its contribution to the health services fund, its contribution related to labour standards or, if applicable, its contribution to the Workforce Skills and Development and Recognition Fund (WSDRF), the corporation and its directors in office at the time of the omission are solidarily liable for the payment of the amounts not remitted, including any related penalties and interest.

Exceptions

The solidary liability of directors does not apply where:

  • a director acted with reasonable care, diligence and skill under the circumstances;
  • a director could not, under the same circumstances, have been aware of the omission; or
  • at least two years have elapsed since a person permanently ceased to be a director of the corporation.

Members of a partnership

If a partnership fails to meet its obligations as an employer or a payer, the members of the partnership may be held liable for the payment of the amounts not withheld or not remitted, including any related penalties and interest.

Businesses that offer payroll management and processing services

Any person who, on behalf of another person, authorizes the payment of amounts subject to source deductions or causes such payments to be made is solidarily liable for the remittance of the source deductions.

If you deal with a business that offers payroll management and processing services, the business is liable, along with you, for the payment of the source deductions of income tax, employee QPP contributions and QPIP premiums.

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