Canadian golf industry calls for tax fairness

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OTTAWA – The National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) brought golf industry representatives to Parliament in order to advocate for tax fairness for the game of golf, Canada’s most popular sport.  NAGA also released the industry’s much-awaited economic impact study for the $14 billion Canadian golf industry, a document that paints the picture of a very large sector facing serious challenges in today’s economic and legislative climate.

“Canada is a golfing country,” said Jeff Calderwood, NAGA spokesman. “There are an estimated 5.7 million Canadian golfers and there are 2,300 golf courses and practice ranges in Canada. It is the country’s most popular sport. There are more golfers in Canada than there are hockey players, and the industry is worth more than $14 billion per year to the Canadian economy.”

“Unfortunately the golf industry in Canada suffers from an outdated 40-year-old tax policy that singles out golf businesses in an unfair manner,” continued Mr. Calderwood. “We are in Ottawa today to call on the federal government to correct this inequity and to restore tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry.”

Due to a 1971 tax reform, the Canada Revenue Agency does not allow deductions for expenses incurred by business people entertaining clients at golf courses. Canada’s 2,300 golf courses, most of whom are small business operators, feel that they cannot compete fairly with all the other industries where CRA does support entertaining clients. Over time, the unfairness of this discrimination against the golf industry has become more and more significant.

“To Canada’s 2,300 golf course operators, who are now facing the most competitive marketplace in our industry’s history, this unfair tax legislation is no longer a tolerable disadvantage. NAGA and its member associations call on the federal government to close this loophole and establish tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry,” concluded Calderwood.