Tax Court of Canada


Goods and Services Tax

Exempt supplies

Guidance counsellor’s licence to practice psychotherapy insufficient for classification as practitioner

Registrant was guidance counsellor who retrained and provided psychotherapy services. Minister assessed registrant for GST and penalties on basis that registrant’s services were taxable and not excluded health services. Registrant appealed. Appeal dismissed with exception of deletion of penalties. Comparison of French and English versions of Excise Tax Act led to conclusion that in order to be qualified as psychology practitioner, person must practice profession of psychology. To be practitioner required not only offering services but being member of Order of Psychologists of Quebec. Mere holding of licence was not sufficient to bring registrant within exemption and so GST payable. Penalties deleted as registrant had exercised reasonable diligence including accountant’s advice and that of health network. Power to relieve against penalties not restricted to Minister. Court had jurisdiction to relieve against penalties where reasonable diligence shown.

Filiatrault c. La Reine (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 6729, 2017 CarswellNat 6884, 2017 TCC 232, 2017 CCI 232, Guy R. Smith J. (T.C.C. [Informal Procedure]).

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