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Navigating Quebec Property Assessments

February 11, 2020

Navigating Quebec Property Assessments

Synopsis
10 Minute Read

Navigating Quebec Property Assessments with MNP

Navigating Quebec Property Assessments with MNP

MNP’s Property Tax Services (PTS) integrates industry-leading property tax expertise with the thorough management of assessment appeal and processes across major Canadian municipalities. The PTS team’s in-depth knowledge coupled with leading edge resources and well-established relationships with municipal decision makers distinguishes MNP as a leader in the property tax service industry.

Triennial property assessment details

2020/2021/2022 Triennial Rolls for the Entire Island of Montreal 2021/2022/2023 Triennial Rolls 2022/2023/2024 Triennial Rolls
City of Montreal and 15 additional municipalities on the Island of Montreal Outaouais and Eastern Townships Quebec City, Laval and South Shore of Montreal
Notice Mailed: Fall 2019 Fall 2020 Fall 2021
Appeal Deadline: April 30, 2020 April 30, 2021 April 30, 2022
Taxation Years: 2020/2021/2022 2021/2022/2023 2022/2023/2024
Base Year: (Reference date): July 1, 2018 (Reference date): July 1, 2019 (Reference date): July 1, 2020
Assessment Cycle: Three-year cycle with right of appeal only within first four months of first taxation year of each new roll Three-year cycle with right of appeal only within first four months of first taxation year Three-year cycle with right of appeal only within first four months of first taxation year of each new cycle
Equity Provisions: No No No
2023/2024/2025 Triennial Rolls for the Entire Island of Montreal 2024/2025/2026 Triennial Rolls 2025/2026/2027 Triennial Rolls
City of Montreal and 15 additional mu- nicipalities on the Island of Montreal Outaouais and Eastern Townships Quebec City, Laval and South Shore of Montreal
Notice Mailed: Fall 2022 Fall 2023 Fall 2024
Appeal Deadline: April 30, 2023 April 30, 2024 April 30, 2025
Taxation Years: 2023/2024/2025 2024/2025/2026 2025/2026/2027
Base Year: (Reference date): July 1, 2021 (Reference date): July 1, 2022 (Reference date): July 1, 2023
Assessment Cycle: Three-year cycle with right of appeal only within first four months of first taxation year of each new roll Three-year cycle with right of appeal only within first four months of first taxation year Three-year cycle with right of appeal only within first four months of first taxation year of each new cycle
Equity Provisions: No No No

There are no province-wide reassessments in Quebec. Instead, there are three assessment cycles covering three geographic regions for three-year assessment cycles.

PRE‐ROLL

Pre-roll discussions with the assessors often take place for large properties. For portfolio owners, these are usually several months before the deposit of each new roll. For Montreal’s 2020 triennial roll, these discussions may start as early as the spring / summer of 2019 and last into the fall.

CHANGES ON THE HORIZON

A provincial regulation will amend and supplement many of the current assessment processes. Currently, the regulation and its content has not been shared with the industry, but it is expected to impact the following procedures:

  • How appeals are filed – electronic versus the traditional paper-based application;
  • The level of disclosure by the appellant required at the time of filing;

This regulation has passed its first reading and set for the second reading in either October or November. The intent is for this to pass so it can be implemented in time for the 2020 roll (Montreal’s re-assessment).

CERTIFICATE OF MODIFICATION

Like other jurisdictions, the Quebec assessor has the right to amend and update an assessment to reflect any physical change to a property. This is done through a Certificate of Modification. Certificates of Modification are effective as of the date of completion of the work or change and rely on city-issued permits. Certificates can be contested by filing an Application for Review within 60 days of the sending of the certificate. However, if the original assessment was not challenged, only the value of the certificate is open to the review.

TRANSPARENCY

Unlike most jurisdictions, there is a lack of clarity to assessment dealing in Quebec. There is no online service to file a request for review or an appeal; or to see an appeal’s status. There is no subscription-based portal to obtain copies of the assessor’s working papers. Everything is still based on paper filings and in-person meetings when documentation is needed.

ADVOCATE AND EXPERT

As the legal world tightens the rules on the separation of the advocate and the expert, Quebec has been functioning in that context since the late 1980s. With less informal dealings after a review has been requested or an appeal has been filed, the use of a lawyer protects the expert by keeping them at arm’s-length in the process. The use of a lawyer serves to file any review or motion documents, formalize any request for information, meetings or any other procedures required during the review period.

Also, a title search to match owners names against what is indicated on the notice of assessment is crucial to ensuring any request for review or motion to the TAQ are not disqualified. Further, the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) is more prevalent in Quebec than any other province. The reason being is Quebec is subject to civil law while the remaining provinces follow common law rules and practices.

Since 2014, we have seen an increase number of reviews / motions being disqualified because it was filed by a consultant. Also, we have seen a similar trend with settlement offers that are being executed by the consultant instead of a lawyer or the owner and the municipality does not honour the settlement. Since there is no paralegal status in Quebec, the recommended approach is to have a lawyer act in an administrative capacity by filing the proper documentation and managing the necessary correspondence.

PRE‐ROLL

Pre-roll discussions with the assessors often take place for large properties. For portfolio owners, these are usually several months before the deposit of each new roll. For Montreal’s 2020 triennial roll, these discussions may start as early as the spring / summer of 2019 and last into the fall.

CHANGES ON THE HORIZON

A provincial regulation will amend and supplement many of the current assessment processes. Currently, the regulation and its content has not been shared with the industry, but it is expected to impact the following procedures:

  • How appeals are filed – electronic versus the traditional paper-based application;
  • The level of disclosure by the appellant required at the time of filing;

This regulation has passed its first reading and set for the second reading in either October or November. The intent is for this to pass so it can be implemented in time for the 2020 roll (Montreal’s re-assessment).

CERTIFICATE OF MODIFICATION

Like other jurisdictions, the Quebec assessor has the right to amend and update an assessment to reflect any physical change to a property. This is done through a Certificate of Modification.

Certificates of Modification are effective as of the date of completion of the work or change and rely on city-issued permits. Certificates can be contested by filing an Application for Review within 60 days of the sending of the certificate. However, if the original assessment was not challenged, only the value of the certificate is open to the review.

TRANSPARENCY

Unlike most jurisdictions, there is a lack of clarity to assessment dealing in Quebec. There is no online service to file a request for review or an appeal; or to see an appeal’s status. There is no subscription-based portal to obtain copies of the assessor’s working papers.

Everything is still based on paper filings and in-person meetings when documentation is needed.

ADVOCATE AND EXPERT

As the legal world tightens the rules on the separation of the advocate and the expert, Quebec has been functioning in that context since the late 1980s.

With less informal dealings after a review has been requested or an appeal has been filed, the use of a lawyer protects the expert by keeping them at arm’s-length in the process. The use of a lawyer serves to file any review or motion documents, formalize any request for information, meetings or any other procedures required during the review period.

Also, a title search to match owners names against what is indicated on the notice of assessment is crucial to ensuring any request for review or motion to the TAQ are not disqualified.

Further, the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) is more prevalent in Quebec than any other province. The reason being is Quebec is subject to civil law while the remaining provinces follow common law rules and practices.

Since 2014, we have seen an increase number of reviews / motions being disqualified because it was filed by a consultant. Also, we have seen a similar trend with settlement offers that are being executed by the consultant instead of a lawyer or the owner and the municipality does not honour the settlement.

Since there is no paralegal status in Quebec, the recommended approach is to have a lawyer act in an administrative capacity by filing the proper documentation and managing the necessary correspondence.

ABOUT MNP

MNP is a leading national accounting, tax and business consulting firm in Canada. We proudly serve and respond to the needs of our clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Through partner-led engagements, we provide a collaborative, cost-effective approach to doing business and personalized strategies to help organizations succeed across the country and around the world.

To find out what MNP can do for you, contact Jo-Ann Lempert, FCPA, FCA, Québec Leader, Real Estate and Construction, at 514.228.7918 or [email protected]

Praxity AISBL is a global alliance of independent firms. Organised as an international not-for-profit entity under Belgium law, Praxity has its executive office in Epsom. Praxity – Global Alliance Limited is a not-for-profit company registered in England and Wales, limited by guarantee, and has its registered office in England. As an Alliance, Praxity does not practice the profession of public accountancy or provide audit, tax, consulting or other professional services of any type to third parties. The Alliance does not constitute a joint venture, partnership or network between participating firms. Because the Alliance firms are independent, Praxity does not guarantee the services or the quality of services provided by participating firms.

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