Provincial Press Release March 27, 2020 @ 2:00 PM
Hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until Aug. 31 for amounts that become due to government on or after today.
This will free up more than $5 million in additional cash flow for employers – money that can be used to retain staff, maintain operations and continue providing a valuable service.
“We know Alberta’s tourism industry has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a necessary addition to other recently announced measures. We will continue to support Albertans and Alberta businesses during this tumultuous time, and will continue to evaluate and expand our efforts where possible.” Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance
Hotels and other lodging providers are still expected to file returns, as required by legislation, and must continue to collect the tourism levy from guests staying at their properties during this period. Payments deferred until Aug. 31 will not be subject to penalties or interest.
“This is a welcome move by the government during the unprecedented pressures the hotel and lodging industry is facing due to COVID-19. Deferring the tourism levy will create critical cash flow for operators at a time when they need it most.” Dave Kaiser, president and CEO, Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association
This measure is in addition to other recently announced supports for Alberta businesses, which are facing unprecedented pressures as a result of the severe economic challenges spurred by the COVID-19 outbreak and current oil price shock.
Additional measures to assist Alberta employers
The collection of corporate income tax balances and instalment payments is deferred until Aug. 31. This gives Alberta businesses access to about $1.5 billion in funds to help them cope with the COVID-19 crisis.
Education property tax amounts are frozen at 2019 levels, saving Alberta households and businesses about $87 million in 2020-21.
Education property tax payments by businesses are deferred for six months, leaving $458 million with job creators to help them pay employees and continue operations.
Private-sector employers can defer paying Workers’ Compensation Board premiums until 2021, with a rebate eligible for those who have already paid their 2020 WCB premiums. Government will pay 50 per cent of 2020 WCB premiums for small and medium businesses.
Utility payments for residential, farm and small commercial customers can be deferred for the next 90 days to ensure no one is cut off from electricity and natural gas services during this time of crisis.