On May 21, 2020, the Province of Alberta released a “Special Notice Vol. 7 No. 10, Tourism Levy Abatement and Deferral”, which announces that tourism levy amounts collected between March 1 and December 31, 2020 can be kept by hotels and other lodging providers. Interest and fines will not accrue during this period for any failure to remit the tourism levy.
Operators will be able to defer the remittance of amounts collected before March 1, 2020 to the Tax and Revenue Administration (“TRA”) until August 31, 2020 with no interest. Monthly remitters will be able to defer remittance of the February 2020 collection while quarterly remitters will be able to defer remittance of both the January and February 2020 collections until August 31, 2020. Quarterly remitters will be able to hold onto the tourism levy collected for March 2020.
Refunds will be provided to hotels and other lodging providers who have already remitted the tourism levy amounts collected after March 1, 2020. Applications will not be required for the refunds. The province will contact quarterly remitters to confirm amounts paid in relation to their March remittance.
The refunds will not apply to amounts paid to the TRA in respect to accommodations purchased before March 1, 2020. Any interest or penalties imposed as a result of a Notice of (Re)Assessment issued on or after March 27, 2020 in respect of a reporting period ending before February 2020 will continue to accrue.
Operators will be expected to continue filing tourism levy returns in correspondence with the legislation to report the amount of tourism levy collected. If the TRA receives filing on or before August 31, 2020 for returns between March 30 and August 28, 2020, late-filing penalties will not apply.
Notice of Assessment issued between March 1 and August 31, 2020 may include late-filing penalties and interest on all unpaid amounts. Any additional penalties or interest accrued on the Statement of Account issued between March 1 and August 31, 2020 should be disregarded.