Today the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) brought golf industry representatives from across the country to Parliament in order to comment on Minister Flaherty’s recent Budget and to advocate for tax fairness for the game of golf, Canada’s most popular sport. NAGA held the industry’s first federal golf awareness day to underscore the importance of the sport for the health of Canadians, and the significance of the industry for the Canadian economy.
“Canada is a golfing country,” said Jeff Calderwood, NAGA spokesman. “There are an estimated 6 million Canadian golfers and there are more than 2,500 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 $11 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“Unfortunately the golf industry in Canada suffers from an outdated 40-year-old tax policy that singles out golf businesses in an unfair manner,” continued Mr.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. “Yesterday’s Budget did nothing to rectify this inequity.”
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 2,500 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 2,500 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.