Relevant facts could not be identified due to parties’ arguable position

Tax - Goods and Services Tax - Administration and enforcement

In registrant’s asset reunification business, it entered into program agreement with share issuers to obtain information about shareholders who had not claimed share entitlements and then contacted such shareholders with “claim card” agreement under which they arranged for transfer of entitlements for commission. Minister assessed tax under Excise Tax Act, increasing net tax on basis that registrant failed to charge and collect GST/HST on commissions received in this asset reunification business. Registrant appealed. Registrant brought motion for summary judgment on basis of Minister’s admissions. Motion dismissed. Registrant could apply for judgment on admissions pursuant to s. 170.1 of Tax Court of Canada Rules (General Procedure) when there was only one issue in appeal, but application of s. 170.1 of Rules was limited to situations where, as result of admissions, there was nothing in controversy. If there was fairly arguable argument to be made regarding applicants law, material facts, or application of law to facts, then there was something in controversy and it was s. 58(1) of Rules that should be used as it specifically allowed for determination of such questions before hearing. Minister argued that all services provided by registrant under its program agreement and claim card were constituent elements of single supply while registrant argued it made two separate supplies in its business but was paid commission only for providing single supply under claim card. Law was not settled on specific issue at centre of case, namely whether, for purpose of application of Act, constituent elements of supply made under contract between supplier of service and recipient could be considered as part of single supply made to another recipient. As relevant facts could not be identified due to parties’ arguable positions, it was impossible to determine whether admissions were sufficient for rendering judgment on them.

Georgeson Shareholder Communication Canada Inc. v. The Queen (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 4828, 2019 TCC 148, Sylvain Ouimet J. (T.C.C. [General Procedure]).

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