Contestation Before the Small Claims Division of the Court of Québec
In certain cases, a person can file a contestation with the Small Claims Division of the Court of Québec to contest a decision on a notice of objection filed regarding a notice of assessment issued under Québec fiscal law.
- If you decide to file a contestation with the Small Claims Division to contest a decision concerning a notice of assessment issued under Québec fiscal law, you can also file a contestation with the Court of Québec (Civil Division).
- You cannot file a contestation with the Small Claims Division of the Court of Québec to contest a decision on a notice of objection concerning a notice of assessment issued under the Excise Tax Act (GST/HST). However, you can bring an appeal to the Tax Court of Canada.
Who can file a contestation before the Small Claims Division
Anyone can file a contestation before the Small Claims Division. However, persons other than an individual can do so only if they had 10 or fewer employees at any time in the 12 months preceding the day on which the contestation was filed or sent.
A lawyer cannot represent or assist a person for a contestation.
Individuals who are unable to represent themselves because of some encumbrance can be represented for free by their spouse, parent or friend or by a person connected by marriage or civil union. A person other than an individual can be represented only by an officer or an employee exclusively employed by it who is not a lawyer.
Extension of the deadline for filing a contestation
If the deadline for filing a contestation has expired, you can apply to a judge of the Court of Québec for an extension. You must apply no later than one year following the first day the contestation could have been filed. You must also show that it was impossible for you to file a contestation by the deadline and that you applied for an extension as soon as the circumstances permitted.
Cases eligible for contestation
You can file a contestation with the Small Claims Division to:
- reduce, by no more than $15,000 (excluding applicable interest and penalties), the amount of income tax payable shown on your notice of assessment. However, if you base your contestation on a loss you sustained in the taxation year or another year, the loss must not exceed $55,000;
- contest an assessment relating to consumption tax duties not exceeding $15,000;
- contest interest charges or penalties not exceeding $5,500;
- contest a decision made by the Minister under section 65 of the Act respecting the Québec Pension Plan;
- contest an assessment under section 66 of the Act respecting the Québec Pension Plan relating to duties not exceeding $15,000;
- contest an assessment under the Act respecting the Québec Pension Plan relating to self-employment earnings;
- contest the determination of a consumption tax refund, where the initial amount claimed does not exceed $15,000;
- contest an assessment under the Act respecting labour standards or the Act to promote workforce skills development and recognition relating to contributions not exceeding $15,000.
You must file your contestation at the office of the Small Claims Division of the Court of Québec within 90 days of the date shown on:
- the notice of the decision made by the Minister of Revenue, if the assessment has been confirmed; or
- the notice of reassessment, if the assessment has been amended or cancelled.
Follow the steps below to file a contestation.
- Complete form LM-93.13-V, Contestation Respecting a Fiscal Matter. Make sure you give the facts and reasons for the contestation and specify whether you would consider mediation.
- File the form with, or send it by registered mail to, the office of the Small Claims Division of the Court of Québec, either:
- in the chief place of the judicial district of your residence or establishment;
- at the Montréal or Québec courthouse; or
- at the Havre-Aubert courthouse (instead of the Percé courthouse), if your residence or establishment is located in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine).
- Pay a $35 fee for each contestation. If it concerns several assessments, you must pay the fee for each assessment.
You can pay:
- in cash;
- by certified cheque or postal money order made payable to the Minister of Finance;
- by credit card; or
- by debit card.
Your payment must accompany form LM-93.13-V.
Within 90 days following the date the office of the Small Claims Division receives the contestation, Revenu Québec must file with the office and notify to the person a memorandum setting out the grounds of defence along with the exhibits in support of the contentions of the defence. Revenu Québec must also specify whether it intends to submit the dispute to mediation.
Since January 1, 2021, a dispute can be submitted to mediation at no additional cost if the parties consent. The mediation session is presided over by a lawyer, notary or chartered professional accountant, certified as a mediator by his or her professional order. If the mediation ends the dispute, the settlement agreement homologated by the court clerk or the court is equivalent to a judgment.
Possible measures during the proceedings
At any time in the course of the proceedings, the court can take the measures it sees fit. If circumstances permit, the court can attempt to reconcile the parties during the hearing or at a settlement conference. If no settlement is reached, the judge can, with the parties' consent, resume hearing the matter. If the parties reach a settlement, the settlement agreement homologated by the court is equivalent to a judgment.