Jan 31st, 2022
Nov 5th, 2018
By Laurent Debrun
Of the risks of hiring a contractor and paying him in cash, without invoices, to avoid sales taxes:
It is not only illegal but also dangerous to hire a service provider under an agreement whereby payment for the services is to be made in cash so as to avoid payment and remittance of applicable sales taxes. Ms. Favreau brought suit against a contractor she hired to perform important renovations in her residence, complaining of many defects. She paid him entirely in cash to avoid sales taxes. The court concluded that the arrangement between Ms. Favreau and the contractor was to elude the law. The entire contract was declared null ab initio, as contrary to public order, something the court is bound to do.
The court then ordered restitution of prestations, to put back the parties in the position in which they stood before the contractor received the monies he was not entitled to receive under the annulled arrangement. While the court ordered the contractor to return the fees he received in cash, it decided that Ms Favreau could not invoke the very important protection afforded by the Civil Code in relation with faulty work, design or construction by the contractor because the contract was illegal and annulled.
This publication is of a general nature, is as of the date indicated and is not intended to constitute an opinion or legal advice. The facts and circumstances of your particular situation should be specifically identified and addressed before appropriate legal advice may be given.