In a September 1, 2015 Tax Court of Canada case (L’univers Gym Fitness Inc. vs. H.M.Q., 2014- 2465(GST)I), at issue was whether the taxpayer, who operated a fitness centre, could claim a deduction of $5,078 in computing net tax for GST/HST purposes on account of bad debts (Subsection 231(1) of the Excise Tax Act). 

When customers of the fitness facility failed to make payments to the business, access to the defaulting customers was denied by deactivating the magnetic chip entrance cards and following up with phone calls to the customers. However, no letter or notice of default was sent out to the customer. According to the taxpayer’s accountant, this was normal procedure in the industry to recover defaulted payments.

Editors’ Comment
For GST/HST purposes the debt must actually be considered to be bad, as compared to “doubtful” for income tax purposes.

For further information see VTN Monthly Tax Update Seminar, Issue No. 419