and Revenue Administration
Fuel Tax Act
Information Circular FT-9
||March 27, 2007
||Alberta Treasury Board and Finance,
Tax and Revenue Administration
|For more information:
FUEL TAX ACT INFORMATION CIRCULAR:
OBJECTIONS, AND WAIVERS OF PENALTIES AND INTEREST
(Effective April 1, 2007)
NOTE: This Information Circular is intended to explain
legislation and provide specific information. Every effort has been
made to ensure the contents are accurate. However, if a discrepancy
should occur in interpretation between this Information Circular
and governing legislation, the legislation takes precedence.
This Information Circular explains the following:
INSPECTION, AUDIT OR EXAMINATION
- Alberta Treasury Board and Finance,
Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA) is authorized
to conduct inspections, audits or examinations of records to determine
whether fuel tax has been properly paid and remitted and whether
benefits and rebates have been properly provided and claimed,
in accordance with the Alberta Fuel Tax Act (the Act).
Persons or entities selected for inspection, audit or examination
are required to make their records available to TRA on request.
- TRA staff, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, municipal police
forces, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC), Fish and
Wildlife officers, and Motor Transport staff enforce the provisions
of the Act. Enforcement activities include sampling fuel to ensure
eligible use of marked fuel, and investigating cases of suspected
fuel tax evasion.
- Persons who
- do not properly pay or remit tax,
- dye fuel when not authorized to do so,
- make false or deceptive entries in records,
- do not file a return or provide information when
required to do so,
- sell marked fuel or clear tax-exempt fuel to unauthorized
- in any other way contravene the Act or Regulations,
are guilty, on conviction, of an offence.
- Legislated fines vary depending on the nature of the offence
and whether it is a first or a subsequent offence. Maximum fines
can include a specified dollar amount plus an amount equal to
three times the fuel tax, rebate or benefit involved, and a jail
term. See Information Circular FT-10, Offences
and Related Penalties, for more information.
FILING A NOTICE OF OBJECTION
- The Tax Services Branch of TRA reviews objections to notices
- assessment or reassessment of fuel tax, interest
- refusal to issue a fuel tax exemption certificate;
- disallowance of a refund, credit or allowance
- disallowance of a rebate for fuel used for prescribed
- disallowance of an Alberta Farm Fuel Distribution
Allowance (AFFDA) claimed;
- disallowance of a reimbursement of an AFFDA
- cancellation of a fuel tax exemption certificate;
- refusal, cancellation or suspension of a registration
under the Act.
- A separate Notice of Objection must be filed, in the required
format, for each action to which objection is made, within 90
days of the date of mailing of the notice of the action leading
to the objection. If sent by registered mail, the date of registering
the mail must be within the specified 90-day period. The date
TRA receives the objection applies when the objection is filed
by any other means of service.
- Notice of objection forms are
available on TRA's website or by contacting
TRA. The completed notice should be sent to:
TAX SERVICES BRANCH
TAX AND REVENUE ADMINISTRATION
9811 – 109 STREET
EDMONTON AB T5K 2L5
- If a person has not filed a notice of objection within the 90-day
time limit, the Act allows the person to apply for an extension
of time to file an objection. The application, accompanied by
a copy of the notice of objection, must be served on TRA within
one year from the expiration of the 90-day limit for serving the
notice. The application must set out the reasons why the objection
was not served within the allowed time limit and show:
- why the person was unable to act or to instruct
another to act on their behalf within the time limit for filing
a notice of objection, or that the person intended in good
faith to object;
- why, given the reasons set out in the application
and the circumstances, it would be just and equitable to grant
the extension; and
- the application was made as soon as circumstances
- The application should be sent to TRA at the address shown above.
If sent by registered mail, the date of registering the mail must
be within the specified time period. The date TRA receives the
application applies when the application is served by any other
means of service.
- Where an application for an extension of time to file a Notice
of Objection has been refused, or TRA has not replied to the request
within 90 days of being served, the Act allows a person to apply
to the Court of Queen's Bench (the Court) to have the application
CONSIDERATION OF THE
NOTICE OF OBJECTION
- On receipt of a Notice of Objection, an appeals officer will
review the objection and:
- confirm, vary or vacate the assessment or disallowance;
- serve a new notice of assessment or give a new
notice of disallowance;
- issue a fuel tax exemption certificate or a
notice confirming the refusal to issue a fuel tax exemption
- revoke the cancellation of a fuel tax exemption
certificate, issue a new fuel tax exemption certificate or
a new notice confirming the cancellation of the fuel tax exemption
- confirm the refusal, cancellation or suspension
of a registration, register the applicant, renew the registration
or revoke the suspension or cancellation of the registration.
- If a person indicates in a Notice of Objection filed that they
wish to appeal immediately to the Court and waives reconsideration
of the action by TRA, TRA may file a copy of the Notice of Objection
with the clerk of the Court and notify the person in writing.
- A person may also file an appeal if 90 days have passed since
the person served a Notice of Objection on TRA and a decision
has not been made.
- If a person is dissatisfied with a decision made by TRA regarding
an objection, the person may file an appeal with the Court within
90 days of the date of mailing of the response to the Notice of
- An appeal is begun by serving a Notice of Appeal on TRA by registered
mail, together with a copy of the Notice of Objection. A copy
of each document must also be filed with the Clerk of the Court.
- The Court may
- dismiss the appeal, or
- allow the appeal and
- vacate the assessment or disallowance,
- vary the assessment or disallowance,
- restore the assessment or disallowance,
- refer the assessment or disallowance back
to the Minister for reconsideration,
- order TRA to issue a fuel tax exemption
- order TRA to revoke the cancellation of
a fuel tax exemption certificate or issue a new certificate,
- order TRA to register the applicant or renew
the registration or revoke the cancellation or suspension
of the registration.
WAIVER OF PENALTIES AND INTEREST
- Under the provisions of the Act, TRA is authorized to waive
penalties or interest imposed on a person.
- Waivers of a penalty and interest are intended to provide relief
in extraordinary circumstances not covered by the Act or administrative
policy. Their use is a last resort and a request for relief will
be reviewed as such. For more information, see “Extraordinary
- Penalties that relate to false statements made knowingly or
through negligence, carelessness, or wilful default generally
will not be waived.
- If a disputed liability relates to the application of the Act
and Regulation and there is time to object, a Notice of Objection
can be filed with TRA's Tax Services Branch at the address shown
- Penalties or interest may be waived where extraordinary circumstances
prevented a person or its agent from complying with the Act. Examples
of such circumstances include:
- natural disasters such as flood, fire storm;
- personal tragedy, such as a serious illness
or death of, or in the family of, the person who oversees
and ensures compliance with the Act and regulation;
- civil disturbances.
- A postal strike is not normally sufficient reason to waive interest
on late payment because payments can be made at most Alberta financial
institutions. Also, during postal strikes TRA arranges for the
filing of return at designated government centres throughout the
- TRA must be satisfied that, despite the extraordinary circumstance,
the person made all reasonable efforts to comply with the Act.
This includes filing returns and remitting the fuel tax by the
due date. If a person fails to file a return or remit the tax
by the due date, and the extraordinary circumstances leading to
the request or a waiver of interest did not occur until after
the due date, TRA generally will not waive the interest.
Circumstances Under Which Waiver
Generally Will Not Be Made
- Interest and penalties are charged when TRA detects and corrects
errors in filed returns or applications. This may not take place
until a review of the return or application is made several months
after the initial assessment. In these cases, the assessed charges
are not subject to waiver due to this delay, unless the delay
was unreasonable and outside of normal TRA review practice. Further
charges usually will not be waived because of error, lack of knowledge,
misrepresentation or misapplication on the part of the person,
its principals or representatives. TRA does not waive penalties
or interest for financial hardship reasons.
- Applicants' history of compliance with their obligations under
the Act, efforts to prevent the liability or take corrective action,
and care in conducting their affairs are all factors considered
by TRA before a decision for a waiver is made.
- An applicant should not seek relief from penalties or interest
by more than one means at any one time. If an applicant has filed
an objection or appeal, or has otherwise requested a reassessment,
that applicant should not concurrently be seeking a waiver of
penalties or interest on the same issue.
Waiver Application Process
- Persons or their agents who believe their case meets the above
guidelines should send a request for waiver of penalty or interest
in writing to:
TAX SERVICES BRANCH
TAX AND REVENUE ADMINISTRATION
9811 – 109 STREET
EDMONTON AB T5K 2L5
An application for a waiver of penalties and interest must be
made within four calendar years from the end of the calendar year
in which the penalty or interest is assessed.
- The request for waiver should include the:
- person's name and address;
- representative's name and address (if applicable);
- name under which the business operates;
- the person's business identification number;
- collection periods involved;
- description of the penalty or interest for which
the waiver is sought and the amount involved;
- reasons the penalty or interest should be waived,
supported by documentation and a chronology of events, as
- description of previous contacts with TRA or
other areas of Alberta Treasury Board and Finance on the issue.
- During consideration of the waiver request the person may be
asked for more information or documentation.
- TRA will review the request in detail and consider all relevant
factors. The person requesting the waiver will be informed of
the final decision in writing. The decision rendered by TRA is
final and not subject to further consideration, objection or appeal.
- Any resulting changes to penalties or interest will be made
through an adjustment to the person's account, or through reassessment.
No interest will be paid on refunded monies.