Who is Subject to Canadian Income Tax

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Canadian Income Tax, Tax Law, Canada


Materials on Canadian Income Tax has become the predominant teaching tool in Canadian law schools for the study of income tax. Students rely on its integrated approach to learning the Canadian income tax regime – including expert commentary, case analysis, and legislation and government policy references. The work is written by a team of esteemed law professors across Canada and edited by Tim Edgar of Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Arthur Cockfield, Faculty of Law, Queen's University and Fellow at the Taxation Law and Policy Research Institute, Monash University and Martha O'Brien at the University of Victoria. It is a casebook-style text that takes a well-organized approach to the study of taxation, which combines commentary from the author team with extracts of leading tax cases and references to government policy pronouncements. The text includes in-depth case studies, references to proposed and enacted legislation, recent Budget proposals, Interpretation Bulletins and other Canada Revenue Agency pronouncements, and expert analysis and commentary. Included also is a complete set of finding tools – featuring a detailed table of cases, a table of statutory references, as well as a comprehensive Topical Index. More than simply a casebook, this authoritative work remains the best first step any student or practitioner can take in their research into the theory and practice of income tax. It is a well-organized, thoughtful and useful research source for an understanding of Canadian income tax principles and practice.

In beginning to discuss the operation of a tax system, we must first ask one critical question: who does the state claim authority to tax? To get at the question more directly, this chapter uses cases, domestic legislation, international tax treaties and administrative statements to explore Canada's answer. It discusses the bases on which Canada taxes both residents and non-residents. It then proceeds to discuss exemptions from tax and the taxation of Indigenous peoples.