What is the Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC)?

By Randall Orser | Personal Income Tax

vintage travel collage background TNIt’s really a tax to offset the security expenses through 2014-2015.  The Canada Revenue Agency is responsible for administering the Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC), which came into effect April 1, 2002. Since then, the charge has been collected by air carriers or their agents at the time of purchase.

Travellers pay the Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC) on air transportation services for travel within Canada and from Canada to foreign destinations.

ATSC Rates

  • For domestic air travel acquired in Canada, where the GST/HST applies at the rate of 5% or 13% for the air transportation service, the ATSC will be $7.12 for each chargeable emplanement, to a maximum of $14.25. Where the GST/HST does not apply, the ATSC will be $7.48 for each chargeable emplanement, to a maximum of $14.96.
  • For air travel to a destination outside Canada but within the continental zone, where the GST/HST applies at the rate of 5% or 13%, the ATSC will be $12.10 for each chargeable emplanement, to a maximum of $24.21. Where the GST/HST does not apply, the ATSC will be $12.71 for each chargeable emplanement, to a maximum of $25.42.
  • For air travel to a destination outside the continental zone, the ATSC will be $25.91 where there is a chargeable emplanement. This applies to air transportation that is acquired in or outside Canada.

Should you have any questions about these changes or any other ATSC matter, you can call the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Excise Taxes and Other Levies Information Line at 1-866-330-3304.

All technical publications related to excise taxes and special levies are available on the CRA Web site at www.cra.gc.ca/etsl

The ATSC does not apply to an infant under the age of two if the infant has not been issued a ticket entitling him or her to occupy a seat for part of the air service that includes a chargeable emplanement.

The following chart illustrates some examples on when the ATSC is applied to domestic air travel acquired in Canada:

ORIGIN POINT INTERMEDIATE POINT DESTINATION POINT ATSC LEVIED
Listed Airport Listed Airport Yes
Listed Airport Non-Listed Airport No
Listed Airport Connection at Non-Listed Airport Listed Airport No
Listed Airport Connection at Listed Airport Non-Listed Airport Yes
Listed Airport Stopover at Listed Airport Non-Listed Airport Yes
Non-Listed Airport Non-Listed Airport No
Non-Listed Airport Listed Airport No
Non-Listed Airport Connection at Listed Airport Non-Listed Airport No
Non-Listed Airport Stopover at Listed Airport Non-Listed Airport No
Non-Listed Airport Connection at Listed Airport Listed Airport Yes
Non-Listed Airport Stopover at Listed Airport Listed Airport Yes

Any examples involving connections or stopovers are not considered direct flights.

Connections

For domestic or transborder continental travel, a passenger’s waiting time between flights is considered a connection if the time is:

  • 4 hours or less; or
  • the time until the next available flight.

For international travel, a passenger’s waiting time between flights is considered a connection if the time is:

  • 24 hours or less; or
  • the time until the next available flight.

Stopovers

For domestic and transborder continental travel, a passenger’s waiting time between flights is considered a stopover if the time is longer than:

  • 4 hours; or
  • the time until the next available flight.

For international travel, a passenger’s waiting time between flights is considered a stopover if the time is longer than:

  • 24 hours; or
  • the time until the next available flight.

The following examples illustrate the application of the ATSC on an airline ticket:

One Ticket Purchased in Canada

Return Journey
Ottawa to Vancouver 2010-04-01
Vancouver to Ottawa 2010-04-05
Total of both fares $400.00
ATSC $14.25
Consideration for GST $414.25
GST 5% $20.71
Total $434.96

One Ticket Purchased in Canada

One Way Journey
Ottawa to Calgary 2010-04-01
Total of fare $400.00
ATSC $7.12
Consideration for GST $407.12
GST 5% $20.36
Total $427.48

One Ticket Purchased in Canada

One Way Journey
Moncton to Washington 2010-04-01
Total of fare $400.00
ATSC $12.10
Consideration for HST $412.10
HST 13% $53.57
Total $465.67

One Ticket Purchased in Canada

Return Journey
Vancouver to Tokyo 2010-04-01
Tokyo to Vancouver 2010-04-15
Total of both fares $400.00
ATSC $25.91
Total $425.91

One Ticket Purchased in Canada

Return Journey
Halifax to Calgary 2010-04-01
Calgary to Halifax 2010-04-15
Total of both fares $400.00
ATSC $14.25
Consideration for HST $414.25
HST 13% $53.85
Total $468.10

Whether or not an individual passes through security, air travel from a listed airport to another listed airport is considered a chargeable emplanement and is, therefore, subject to the ATSC.

When a passenger uses no part of an air transportation service, a designated air carrier or the CRA may credit or refund the ATSC. When an air transportation service is only partially used, a designated air carrier or the CRA may credit or refund the ATSC if the used part of the air transportation service was not subject to a charge.

All designated air carriers who provide air transportation to individuals on an aircraft having a maximum certified take-off weight greater than 2,730 kilograms and whose service includes chargeable emplanements must register to collect the ATSC.

 

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