Resources for Taxpayers

(pour afficher cette page en français, cliquez ici)

We value the support we get from taxpayers. All make a fair contribution towards the quality bilingual education that Western Québec is committed to provide.

You can find information on school taxation on this page. Before contacting our tax department, please make sure to read it. We have prepared a section with our Frequently Asked Questions, among which you will find:

  • How can I transfer my tax account to Western Québec? Answer.
  • Why is the tax rate going down at Western Québec but up at francophone school boards? Answer.
  • I contacted the tax department a while ago and I still have not gotten any news. Why? Answer.
  • I received a bill from your school board. How can I pay it? Answer.
  • I am moving to your school board’s territory. Is there anything I need to do? Answer.

If you can’t find your question here, look at the rest of our FAQ before contacting our tax department.

School Taxation 2017-2018

The 2017-2018 school tax invoice issuance date is August 18, 2017, with payment due date on September 18, 2017. This invoicing covers the period of July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. The taxation rate for 2017-2018 is 0.13694 per $100.00 of evaluation.

All accounts in arrears carry an interest rate of 16% (calculated daily to 0.0438%).

You can easily access your school tax account online, through our Consultation of taxation information and bills tool. Use our TFP guide of you require assistance.

In an effort to maintain its educational objectives, the Council of Commissioners has mandated the administration to collect all taxes which are in arrears.

You can see how the taxation funds are distributed within the school board’s budget.

Access your School Tax Online

You can easily access your school tax account online, through our Consultation of taxation information and bills tool. Use our TFP guide of you require assistance.

Methods of Payment

There are many ways you can pay your tax bill.

Online – Available through most financial institutions –  When doing so, please verify the reference number on your invoice prior to making payment. You will find us registered as Commission scolaire Western Québec or a variation of our name depending on the financial institution (i.e. Comm Scol Western). Please use the 20-digit reference number which appears on your coupon. It begins with ‘886’ and is unique per property. Therefore, we ask that each property is paid separately online. Generally, your payment is received the next business day and will be processed using that effective date.

By Mail – You can pay by sending a cheque payable to “WQSB” or “Western Québec School Board” including the detachable coupon found on your invoice in the return envelope provided.

At the Bank – You can pay at the counter at most financial institutions.

In our Offices – We have a tax counter available in our offices located at 15 Katimavik, Gatineau (QC)  J9J 0E9. Our offices are open on weekdays from 9 to 12, and 1 to 4.

Invoice description

Here’s more information.

Municipal roll – Municipal roll values are determined through the municipal or city evaluators and are forwarded to school boards.

Standardization Factor – A Standardization Factor is set by the Minister of Municipal Affairs to provide equity across the province.

Adjusted Value – This one is calculated by multiplying the municipal value with the standardized factor and then staggering the resulting increases.

Neutral Rate – School taxes will be shared on a percentage basis between the English and French school boards if you are a company, organization, association or if you are an individual who has purchased property from a contractor. An individual who has recently obtained property may register change to their future invoice with respect to supporting either the English or the French school board with 100% of their school taxes.

Modifications to the Education Act – In 2007, as a result of significant increases in municipal evaluations and the public’s reactions in regards to the impact on school board taxes, the ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur modified the Education Act (LIP – Loi sur l’instruction publique) with Bill 43.

Modifications in summary are the following:

  • All increases (or decreases) resulting from new municipal rolls are to be staggered over the period of the roll (i.e. 3 years)
  • The option of payments in two instalments when an annual invoice due is calculated to equal $300.00 or higher.
  • Removed with Bill 25 as of budget year 2013-2014: A reduction to the current invoice may be calculated per municipality to ensure a limited increase. Article 475.2 LIP dictates this complex calculation. The percent reduction rate is common to both French and English school boards to ensure equity across the shared territory.

Property Owner Responsibility

All owners of taxable property in the province of Québec must pay school taxes. The current Education Act directs school boards in the process of invoice and collection of school taxes. Property owners are responsible for ensuring payment is made. No interest on late payments can be adjusted or removed as prescribed in the Education Act.

The Western Québec School Board deposits by mail the taxation invoice to the property owner. The City or Municipal Regional County forwards the property owner’s address to the school boards for taxation purposes.

There may be a lapse of time in the transfer of new address information therefore, verification can be made by contacting us.

The school board relies on the address information registered with the MRC or City to contact property owners. A legal recovery process may be deployed on accounts with outstanding balances in absence of a payment arrangement registered in the school board’s database.

Assessment Information / Change of Mailing Address to the MRC – For a change of mailing address, please advise us in writing, and contact your city office or MRC. 

  • Ville de Rouyn-Noranda : 819-797-7111
  • M.R.C. Vallée de l’Or : 819-825-7406
  • Ville de Senneterre : 819-737-2296
  • Ville de Val-d’Or : 819-824-9613
  • M.R.C. Témiscamingue : 819-825-7406
  • Ville de Gatineau : 819-243-2345
  • M.R.C. Vallée de la Gatineau : 819-463-3241
  • M.R.C. des Collines : 819-827-0516
  • M.R.C. Papineau : 819-427-5138
  • M.R.C. Pontiac : 819-648-5689
  • Ville de Malartic : 819-757-3611

Find more information on this matter in our tax FAQ.

Taxation rate going down at Western Québec

Changes pending for year 2018-2019 – Stay tuned, more to come!

Taxes for year 2017-2018 – You might have heard that school taxes are considerably cheaper at Western Québec, in comparison to francophone school boards on our territory. While this is true, it is important to understand why:

  • The Western Québec School Board is a public institution guided by the Education Act under the government of Québec. Our lower tax rate is a direct result of this Act.
  • Three factors led to this drop:
    1. A boost in the number of properties on the board’s territory, and the increase of their value;
    2. A rise in the number of taxpayers choosing to pay their school taxes to our school board, rather than to the francophone school board that covers their property;
    3. The total amount of taxation revenue, based on the number of students, being capped by the ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement Supérieur (MEES).
  • The staff of Western Québec School Board cannot dismiss taxpayers’ requests to transfer their school taxes, except if they have at least one child enrolled in a francophone school board on our territory.

Media – We have prepared an official statement in the form of a press release regarding our tax rate drop.

Electoral List

The law permits an individual to choose on which electoral list he/she would have their name appear. In other words, which school board he /she will exercise his/her right to vote.

Outside of a revision period for elections, one may request, in writing, to the Director General of the School Board that their name be added to the current electoral list.

The school board has prepared a form to facilitate this procedure. Please complete, print and sign, sending original documents to the School Board to the attention of the Secretary General.

Contact the Tax Department

NOTE – Before contacting our tax team, please understand that most of your questions are answered on this very page, in our FAQ, and that there currently a delay of several weeks before we will get back to you. This is due to an abnormally large number of calls and emails from taxpayers. Please rest assured we will return all calls in priority to incoming calls.

Western Québec Tax Department

Email: taxes@wqsb.qc.ca
Phone: 819 684-1313 extensions 1109, 1123, 1145, 1162 or 1119
Toll-free within Canada: 1 800 363-9111 extensions 1109, 1123, 1145, 1162 or 1119
Fax: 819 684-9061
Address: 15 Katimavik, Gatineau (QC)  J9J 0E9
Hours of operation: weekdays from 9 to 12, and 1 to 4

Transferring a Tax Account

School Taxes are collected in accordance with the Education Act. To learn why our school tax is currently cheaper, click here.

Which of the following statements best describes your situation?

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few questions that are commonly sent our way.

  • Who must pay school taxes?

    Every property owner is required to pay school taxes with few exceptions. The exceptions, or exemptions, are determined by the municipal evaluators and often relate to schools; churches, parks, etc.

  • Where does my school tax invoice come from?

    In Québec school taxes are invoiced by school boards and not via the municipality.

  • I did not receive an invoice for my property, what should I do?

    A property owner is responsible for his/her taxation payment regardless if they have received an invoice.  Much like hydroelectric services, you are aware there is a responsibility. Contact the school board immediately to investigate the problem.  NO INTEREST will be written off in accordance with Article 317 “No school board may waive the payment of school taxes or interest.”

  • Why did I receive two annual taxation invoices for the same property?

    Individuals who purchase from a company may receive two annual invoices, one being from the French school board and one from Western Québec School Board. Each invoice should calculate on a percentage of evaluation with the total not surpassing 100%. While companies must always pay on a percentage basis; individuals may contact the school board of their choice to select one source of taxation support. Both invoices must be paid until a declaration of choice is recorded.

  • How do I choose to contribute my school taxation dollars to the Western Québec School Board?

    Please contact our school taxation department by email. The department will forward to you a declaration form to be filled in and returned before April 1st to take effect the following taxation year. You will also find the procedure online.

  • How do I inform the school board of a mailing address change?

    All mailing address changes must be received in written format (email, mail or fax). This is a temporary change and may be overwritten with updates from the MRC or city data transfers. Therefore, it is essential to also contact your municipality or city and your MRC to ensure the same modification is affected within their database.

  • How can I contact the school taxation department to answer specific questions on my file?

    Contact information for our tax department is available at the bottom of this page.

  • Do you issue receipts for income tax purposes?

    The school board will mail out a receipt of payment upon request at the time of payment. Please keep this for your income tax documentation (if applicable). We ask our taxpayers to be conscious of postal rates and, ideally, provide email addresses whenever possible to receive a PDF version.

  • I have paid my annual invoice; why am I receiving another invoice?

    Changes in evaluation are forwarded to the school board from the MRCs and cities as modifications to your property occur. A property owner is notified of the modification from the municipal level in writing. The school board processes the modification and produces an invoice with the calculations corresponding to the effective period. Note: the effective period is determined by the evaluator. A credit invoice may include a coupon to request a reimbursement by cheque or to leave your credit on file voluntarily without interest. Larger credit amounts will automatically be reimbursed.

  • It has been months since my property modification (new construction, demolition, etc.) and I have not yet received a school tax revised invoice. Why?

    The Western Québec School Board, in parallel with other Québec school boards, refrains from processing modifications during our annual taxation period. Generally this is from May to the end of September. There may be other challenges that cause delays in processing modifications; however, you may email us at any time.

    The school board receives between three and seven data updates per year from each of its 103 municipalities. These updates are in electronic format.

  • Can I process my payment online?

    Yes. The school board is registered as Commission scolaire Western Québec or a variation of our name depending on the financial institution, (i.e. Comm Scol Western). Please use the 20 digit reference number which appears on your coupon. It begins with ‘886’ and is unique per property. Therefore, we ask that each property is paid separately online. Generally your payment is received the next business day and will be processed using that effective date.

  • I have sent my cheque two weeks ago and it has not passed on my account yet. Why?

    The Western Québec school board has undertaken the processing of all cheques at the school board level by our taxation department.  Due to volume, this may create a temporary backlog. However, each coupon is stamped with the reception date and is processed using that date.  Our goal is to have all cheques processed within two weeks of the due date.

  • What can I do to ensure that my cheque is not returned to me?

    To process your payment we need your coupon(s) with the payment amount(s) indicated. This should correspond, or total, the amount of your cheque(s). Cheques are payable to either WQSB or Western Québec School Board. Please do not to combine payments that belong to the French school board in the case of shared invoicing. Your cheque must be signed with the written and numerical amounts reading the same. It is recommended to write your reference or dossier number on the cheque.

    We welcome all email address and telephone numbers that you may wish to provide in case we need to contact you. We do not receive this information from the municipalities or cities nor would we provide this information to anyone without your consent.

  • I have entered an online payment in error, what are my options on having my funds returned to me?

    Contact us, or your bank, to have your payment reversed through the financial institutions. The taxation department will process the required paperwork with the bank on an urgent basis and generally the transaction can be completed within a few of days. We keep careful records of these requests and will work collaboratively with you. Notifying to your bank, of the request, usually improves the time delay of the transaction.

  • What should I do if I do not have the funds to pay my account by the due date?

    Contact the school board to ensure responsible management of your account by recording a payment arrangement immediately. Interest cannot be modified, negotiated or removed; therefore it may be optimal to find a source of financing to cover your taxes that carries a lower interest rate (16% – current WQ interest rate). Payment arrangements must be adhered to or a revision must be recorded to prevent legal recovery procedures against the property owner.

  • What happens if I do not responsibly manage my account and fall into arrears?

    The school board does have the right to seize movable property to pay delinquent accounts. Should a bailiff procedure be initiated on your account the process will add a significant amount of fees to your balance which will not be removed. Municipality land tax sales for delinquent amounts most often include amounts owing in school taxes.