First Nations individuals are granted special tax status under section 87 of the Indian Act (the “Act”) which effectively exempts them from taxation in respect of personal property “situated on a reserve” (the “s. 87 exemption”). This unique exemption transcends all taxing legislation in Canada, federal or provincial.
The courts’ interpretation of s. 87 has evolved over the years but, until now, it has only applied in the context of reserve property.
A recent decision of the British Columbia (“BC”) Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) has seemingly expanded the scope of s. 87 to off-reserve property – albeit in the context of a Band that no longer had a reserve.