Tobacco Tax - Overview
Cross-Program Special Notice - posted May 5, 2016
Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA), Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, administers the Tobacco Tax Act, which legislates the collection of tax on tobacco. The Tobacco Tax Act requires all wholesalers and importers to be licensed to sell or import tobacco for resale.
Alberta tobacco tax is applied to all tobacco products: cigarettes, tobacco sticks, cigars, cigarillos, pipe, water pipe, raw leaf and loose tobacco, snuff and chewing tobacco purchased in Alberta.
This revenue goes into general revenues to help pay for all provincial services, including healthcare.
Retailers are required to purchase all tobacco from licensed wholesalers or importers. All cigarettes and fine cut tobacco intended for tax-paid sale in Alberta must be marked with the Alberta stamp.
The Tobacco Tax Amendment Regulation (December 15, 2011) implemented changes to Alberta's tobacco marking requirements. They came into effect April 1, 2012. For more information, see Special Notice Vol. 3 No. 14, Changes to Tobacco Marking Requirements.
Retailers cannot sell Alberta-marked cigarettes and fine cut tobacco exempt from tax. Black stock tobacco and tobacco not required to be marked (such as snuff, cigars etc.) are the only products that can legally be sold tax-exempt by registered Alberta Indian Tax Exemption (AITE) retailers to eligible Alberta Indians or Indian bands (see the Alberta Indian Tax Exemption (AITE) series of information circulars) or by duty-free shops to persons leaving Canada.
The Tobacco Tax Act and its Regulation make provision for:
- collection of tobacco tax;
- administration of the tobacco tax exemption under the AITE program, including the payment of refunds under the program; and
- refunds of tobacco tax to wholesalers on uncollectible debt or to retailers on tobacco that has been destroyed or stolen.
See the following web page on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police website:
See Alberta Tobacco Tax Rates (from January 2000 to current).