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Tax and Revenue Administration
Alberta Tourism Levy Act
Special Notice Vol. 7 No. 7

Released: July 27, 2009
Produced by: Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, Tax and Revenue Administration
For more information: tra.revenue@gov.ab.ca

Vol. 7 No. 7 / July 2009

NOTE: This special notice 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 special notice and governing legislation, the legislation takes precedence.

Bill 38 - Tourism Levy Amendment Act, 2009

The Tourism Levy Amendment Act, 2009, received Royal Assent on June 4, 2009.  Major changes to the Tourism Levy Act (the Act) are effective June 4, 2009, and include:

Forfeited Deposits

  • The application of the tourism levy to forfeited deposits has been clarified.  If a customer pays a deposit to reserve accommodation and all or part of the deposit is forfeited by the customer on cancellation of the reservation or kept by the operator as a cancellation fee, tourism levy applies to the forfeited or kept portion.  Tourism levy is deemed to have been paid on the part of the deposit that is forfeited or kept.

  • For example, if a customer pays a $100 deposit and forfeits that deposit the customer is deemed to have purchased accommodation with a purchase price of $96.15 and paid tourism levy of $3.85 ($100 multiplied by 4% tourism levy rate and divided by 104%).

Rewards Points

  • For transactions involving rewards points or loyalty programs, the amount of levy is based on the actual payment received by the accommodation operator.  The levy is considered to be included in the actual payment.  For information about the calculation of tourism levy, see paragraph 10 of the Tourism Levy Circular TL-2R3, Responsibilities of Operators Providing Accommodation.
  • The Act clarifies that where a person purchases accommodation using both reward or loyalty points and money or other consideration,
    • tourism levy on accommodation purchased using reward or loyalty points is calculated as outlined in Tourism Levy Special Notice Vol. 7 No. 5, and

    • tourism levy on accommodation purchased using money or other consideration is calculated as 4% (tourism levy rate) of the purchase price.

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Other Changes include:

  • The penalty for amounts owing due to neglect, carelessness, wilful default, fraud, or evasion has been increased from 25 per cent to 50 per cent of the amount of tax owing.

  • The time period to file a request to waive interest or penalty is limited to within four calendar years from the end of the calendar year in which a penalty or interest was assessed.

  • If the Minister agrees, an objector may appeal directly to the court without going through the notice of objection process.

  • The Minister may collect and use information, including personal information prescribed in the regulations for formulating or analyzing tax, fiscal or enforcement policy, and may publish or disclose certain readily-available information in a summarized or statistical form that cannot, directly or indirectly, be associated with, or identify, a particular person.

  • A new collection measure has been added that allows the Minister to seize joint bank accounts in proportion to ownership for amounts in default.


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