and Revenue Administration
Information Circular TL-4R1
|| Alberta Finance,
Tax and Revenue Administration
|For more information:
/ May 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.
TOURISM LEVY ACT INFORMATION CIRCULAR:
WAIVER OR CANCELLATION OF PENALTIES OR INTEREST
This Information Circular
explains the guidelines Alberta Finance, Tax and Revenue Administration
(TRA) follows in administering the waiver or cancellation of penalties
or interest under the Tourism Levy Act (the Act). The
topics in this circular include:
The comments in this circular apply
to waiver or cancellation of penalty and interest charges. For simplicity,
“waive” will include the term “cancel”.
of Late Filing Penalty or Interest
- Under the provisions of the Act,
the Minister of Finance is authorized to waive penalties or interest
imposed under the Act.
- Waivers of a late-filing 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.
- Penalties that relate to false statements
made knowingly or through negligence, carelessness, or wilful
default will generally 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 at the
address noted below.
- Penalties or interest may be waived
where extraordinary circumstances prevented an operator or its
agent from complying with the Act. Examples of such circumstances
- natural disasters such as flood,
- personal tragedy such as a serious
illness or death of, or in the family of, the person who oversees
and ensures compliance of a small operator with the Act and
- theft or vandalism of records;
- civil disturbances.
- A postal strike is not normally
sufficient reason to waive interest on late payments by operators
because they are able to make payments at most Alberta financial
institutions. Also, during postal strikes TRA arranges for the
filing of Tourism Levy returns at designated government centres
throughout the province.
Late filing penalties may be waived for postal strikes if the
operator demonstrates that no other means, such as courier delivery,
fax transmission, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), or Tax and Revenue Administration Client Self-service (TRACS), was available
to file its return on time.
- The Minister of Finance must be
satisfied that, despite the extraordinary circumstances, the operator
made all reasonable efforts to comply with the Act. This includes
filing returns and making payment of the Tourism Levy by the due
date. If an operator fails to file a return or make a payment
of the levy by the due date, and the extraordinary circumstances
leading to the request for a waiver of a late filing penalty did
not commence until after the due date, TRA will not waive the
- Interest and penalties are charged
when TRA detects and corrects errors in filed returns. This may
not take place until a post-assessment review of the return 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 review practice.
Further charges will not be waived because of error on the part
of the preparer of a Tourism Levy return or lack of knowledge,
misinterpretation or misapplication on the part of the operator,
its principals or representatives.
- TRA does not waive penalties or
interest for financial hardship reasons.
- The operator's history of compliance with its
obligations under the Act, its efforts to prevent the liability
or to take corrective action, and its care in conducting its affairs
under a self assessing system are all factors considered by TRA
before a decision for a waiver is made.
- An operator should not seek relief from penalties
or interest by more than one means at any one time. If an operator
has filed an objection or appeal, or has otherwise requested a
reassessment, it should not concurrently be seeking a waiver of
penalties or interest on the same issue.
- Operators 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
- The request for waiver should include:
- operator's name and address;
- representative's name and address
- name under which the business
- operator's business identification
- 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 applicable; and
- description of previous contacts
with TRA or other areas of Alberta Finance on the issue.
- During consideration of the waiver
request the operator may be asked for more information or documentation.
- The operator's request is reviewed
in detail and the decision is final and not subject to further
consideration, objection or appeal. The operator is informed of
the final decision in writing.
- Any resulting changes to penalties
or interest will be made through an adjustment to the operator's
account, or through reassessment. No interest on refunded monies
will be paid.