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Tax and Revenue Administration
Tourism Levy Act
Information Circular TL-3

Last Reviewed: November 2005
Produced by: Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, Tax and Revenue Administration
For more information: tra.revenue@gov.ab.ca

TL-3 / November 2005

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 discusses the following topics:

Assessments and Reassessments

  1. Hotel, motel and other accommodation operators who file returns will be issued a Statement of Account showing the Tourism Levy assessed and the payment received for a collection period. Where the levy remains unpaid, interest will accrue until payment is received. A Notice of Assessment may be issued to reflect adjustments made during processing.

  2. Operators who fail to collect or remit the levy may be assessed the amount of levy not collected or remitted. Assessment can be made for levies payable within four years from the day the levy became payable or was required to be remitted and will include interest and any applicable penalties.

  3. If an operator or purchaser has:

    1. made any misrepresentation attributable to neglect, carelessness or wilful default,
    2. committed a fraud in making a return or supplying information under the Act or regulation, or
    3. failed to disclose any relevant information,

    an assessment can be issued for any levy payable or required to be remitted plus interest and penalties at any time after the normal four year statute-barred period.

  4. Interest is charged on overdue amounts by operators at the rate prescribed under the Tourism Levy Act, which is the debit interest rate prescribed under the Alberta Corporate Tax Act.

  5. Liability for the Tourism Levy imposed by the Act is not affected by an incorrect or incomplete return, or no assessment having been made. Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA) can assess a Tourism Levy payable whether or not a return or information is provided to TRA.

  6. Every operator assessed must, within 30 days from the date on the Notice of Assessment, pay the amount assessed whether or not an objection or appeal is filed with TRA or a court.

  7. Where an operator owes an amount under the Act and TRA is of the opinion that the reason for the amount owing is attributable to:

    1. negligence, carelessness or wilful default by, or on behalf of, the operator, or
    2. fraud or evasion was committed by, or on behalf of, the operator,

    TRA can determine the amount owing by the operator and assess a penalty equal to 25% of the amount owing.

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  1. The Act allows an authorized officer to examine or inspect, at any reasonable time, any documents that may be relevant to determination of Tourism Levy liability under the Act. The documents may include, but are not limited to:

    • documents the operator is required to keep under the Act or regulation;
    • documents or records of any person that may relate to the information that is, or should be, in the records of the operator; and
    • any document of any person relating to any levy payable under the Act.

  2. No one may hinder or interfere with anyone authorized to inspect or audit documents under the Act.

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Demand for Information

  1. TRA may demand any information necessary to administer or enforce the Act or the regulation. A demand is made in the form of a notice and may be served personally or by registered mail. If the demand is not complied with, TRA may apply to the Court of Queen's Bench for an order directing the person to comply with the demand.

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Collection Process

  1. The Tourism Levy collected by an operator is due on or before the 28th day of the month following the end of the collection period. If payment is not received, collection follow-up will begin after the Notice of Assessment has been sent to the operator.

  2. Where TRA demands payment of the amount of levy owing and the penalty, the demand constitutes proof the amount is owing to the Crown.

  3. TRA may also issue a certificate of amounts not paid. When such a certificate is filed with the Court, it has the same force and effect as a judgment of the Court in the stated amount. Proceedings to enforce payment may be taken.

  4. Failure by an operator to pay an amount owing may result in action by TRA to garnishee amounts due the operator by others or the seizure of assets owned by the operator.

  5. If an operator is unable to make immediate full payment and TRA is of the opinion the payment of the levy is in jeopardy, TRA may request security for the amount owing. The cost of providing such security is the responsibility of the operator. Interest continues to accrue on unpaid amounts of the Tourism Levy even if security has been provided.

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Notice of Objection

  1. An operator may object to:
  1. any assessment of the Tourism Levy, penalty or interest assessed; or
  2. TRA's refusal to register an operator or suspension or cancellation of an operator's registration.
  1. A separate Notice of Objection must be completed, in the prescribed form, for each assessment or reassessment, Notice of Refusal, suspension, or cancellation of registration. The objection must be served on TRA within 90 days from the date of mailing of the notification to which the objection relates. 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 for any other means of service.

    Click here for the AT4762 Notice of Objection form.
    The completed notice should be sent to:

9811 109 STREET

  1. When an objection has been properly submitted, TRA reviews the objection and may vacate, confirm, or vary the assessment or serve a new notice of its decision concerning the refusal, cancellation, or suspension of an operator's registration.

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Application for Extension of Time to File an Objection

  1. If an operator has not filed an objection within 90 days, the Act allows the operator 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 a Notice of Objection. 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 for any other means of service.

  2. The application must demonstrate that:

    • the operator was unable to act (or instruct another to act on its behalf) within the 90-day limit for filing the objection, or intended in good faith to object;
    • given the reasons set out in the application and circumstances of the case, it would be just and equitable to grant the application; and
    • the application was made as soon as circumstances permitted.

    The application should be sent to TRA at the address shown above.

  3. Where an application for an extension of time to file an objection has been refused, or TRA has not replied to the request within 90 days of being served, the Act allows an operator to apply to the Court of Queen's Bench to have the application granted.

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Notice of Appeal

  1. An operator who has served an objection on TRA and has not received a decision from TRA within 90 days of service of the objection or who wishes to appeal TRA's decision may file a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Queen's Bench. An appeal is commenced 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.

  2. The Court can dismiss an appeal, vary, or confirm the assessment that is the subject of the appeal, or refer the assessment back to TRA for reconsideration.

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Offences under the Act

  1. It is an offence under the Act for an operator or its representative to:

    • make false statements on returns, destroy or alter documents required under the Act or conspire with another person to evade payment or claim a refund greater than that to which the operator is entitled.
    • fail to file a return or provide information when required by the Act or regulations.
    • fail to collect and remit the levy as required.

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