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Proposed provincial tax legislation changes include amendments to Tourism Levy

Posted on November 9, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

The Province has announced proposed changes to Alberta’s tax laws.

The Tax Statutes Amendment Act, also known as Bill 4, proposes changes which would “help formalize a key part of Alberta’s commitment to affordability, provide clarity around the collection and remittance of Alberta’s tourism levy, and update several technical and administrative aspects of Alberta’s tax system,” according to a recent Province-issued media bulletin.

If passed Bill 4, the Tax Statutes Amendment Act, 2023, will update the Fuel Tax Act, Tourism Levy Act, Alberta Corporate Tax Act, and the Alberta Personal income Tax Act.

Nate Horner, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance said the amendments are required at this stage to keep the Alberta’s tax legislation current, and are, “essential to maintaining Alberta’s low-tax environment and minimizing red tape. The proposed amendments would help to create further consistency and clarity in Alberta’s tax system, which continues to play a key role in our successful efforts to attract investment and new residents to the province.”

If the 2023 Tax Statutes Amendment Act, 2023 passes, it would allow the Province to retroactively legislate the provincial fuel tax pause be extended to the end of this year. It would also make a number of technical amendments to the Alberta Corporate Tax Act to align with changes to federal legislation, as well as reflect the existing provincial policies.

The amend well-functioning tax system is a fundamental part of our province’s tax advantage, which sees Albertans and Alberta businesses pay the lowest overall taxes in the country. In 2023-24, Albertans and Alberta businesses would pay at least $20 billion more in taxes if Alberta had the same tax system as any other province.

MLA for Lethbridge-East and Minister of Affordability and Utilities, Nathan Neudorf applauded the continuation of the pause on the provincial fuel tax through to the end of 2023, adding the pause has, “saved Albertans $530 million.”

If passed, Bill 4 would also amend the Alberta’s Tourism Levy Act.

Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sport, and MLA for Cardston-Siksika said of the proposed changes, “the Tourism Levy is crucial for the success of Alberta’s tourism industry and helps ensure that our province remains the best destination in the world.”

The Province said, the amendment to the Tourism Levy Act would set rules for online brokers in the tourism industry to collect and remit the tourism levy. Although no specifics were included in the Nov. 1 news release, “more specific details” are expected to follow in regulation.

Schow said in the release, “we have listened to industry leaders, and the proposed amendment will provide consistency for our tourism sector by ensuring that they have the tools they need to collect the Levy in an equitable and fair manner.

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