Overview

Fuel tax must be paid by consumers when purchasing propane for use as a motive fuel, or when purchasing it from an automotive dispensing system.

In Alberta, only spec propane is normally sold for motive use.

Fuel tax is remitted to Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA) by propane distributors and producers when they dispense it into a retailer’s tank that can be used to fuel vehicles.

The retailer then passes the tax to the consumer, by including it in the price of taxable propane sold to their customers.

Situations when propane is taxable

Propane is taxable when dispensed into a tank which can be used to fill vehicles. The tax is paid to the propane distributor who delivers the propane and is responsible for remitting the tax to TRA.

Situations when propane is not taxable

Propane is not taxable when:

  • a propane distributor sells propane to another propane distributor appearing on the list of Registered Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Distributors
  • propane is exported from Alberta in bulk for use outside Alberta
  • propane is purchased from a dispensing system other than a dispensing system used to dispense propane for motive fuel, if the propane is purchased for a use other than as a motive fuel
  • propane is purchased by a consumer who is an eligible tax-exempt purchaser
  • a propane distributor delivers propane into a bulk storage tank, where propane is stored and less than 50% of the propane stored in the tank is sold directly to consumers
  • propane is dispensed in portable propane cylinders
  • propane is delivered to a consumer and used solely for farming or for non-motive purposes

Tax-exempt consumers

The Government of Alberta recognizes that many First Nations people and communities in the province prefer not to describe themselves as Indians/Indian bands. These terms have been used where necessary to reflect their legal meaning in the federal Indian Act.

The following consumers are tax-exempt:

  • approved tax-exempt consumers, such as mining companies, where the propane is used solely for non-taxable purposes
  • diplomats, foreign embassies and the Government of Canada
  • eligible consumers if the sale is made on a reserve

Propane distributors, producers and retailers

Distributors

  • A propane distributor is a person who sells or delivers propane to another person for resale in Alberta.
  • Distributors are required to remit fuel tax to TRA when the propane is sold to a retailer for resale, to a consumer, or when it is dispensed into a tank which can be used to fuel vehicles.
  • Distributors are only required to remit and report tax-included sales to retailers or consumers.
  • Distributors that sell propane that may be resold as a motive fuel must file a monthly return, including for periods where there were no taxable sales.

Producers

  • A propane producer is a person that produces propane. Under the Fuel Tax Act, propane producers are also considered propane distributors.

Retailers

  • Retailers who sell propane from a tank that has a dispensing system that can dispense propane for use as a motive fuel are required to purchase propane tax-included, from the propane distributor who delivers the propane.
  • Retailers who sell tax-exempt propane from the same tank can apply for refunds from TRA, for the tax they paid to the distributor.

Form instructions

Trouble opening or completing fillable PDF forms?

Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. If the form doesn't open, or you can't complete the form, or you see a "please wait" message, follow these steps to complete and save fillable forms from Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA):

  1. Right-click on the form link and select "Save Target As" or "Save Link As", and save the form to your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.

To submit your forms

Forms cannot be sent through email. Complete and print your forms and bring, mail or fax them to TRA.

How to register as a propane producer or distributor

Both propane distributors and producers must register with TRA, even if they do not have any taxable sales.

Step 1: Fill out the application

Step 2: Submit your application

  • Bring, mail or fax your completed application to TRA.

Step 3: Receive decision letter

  • If approved, you will receive a letter indicating your Business Identification Number (BIN).

How to file a propane tax return

The Propane Tax Return is due on or before the 28th day of the month following the month propane was sold. Late returns are subject to a penalty.

Step 1: Fill out the tax return

Complete the following forms:

Step 2: Submit your return

  • Bring, mail or fax your completed Propane Tax Return and schedules to TRA.

Step 3: Remit the amount owing and receive the Notice of Assessment

  • Remit the amount owing (see Making payments).
  • Interest will be charged on late remittances and will continue to accrue until the balance is paid in full.

How to register as a retailer

Step 1: Fill out the registration

Step 2: Submit your registration form

  • Bring, mail or fax your completed Retailer Registration for Propane Tax Refunds to TRA.

Step 3: Receive decision letter

  • If approved, you will receive a letter indicating your Business Identification Number (BIN).

How to apply for a refund

Claims cannot be filed later than 3 years after the end of the calendar year the exempt propane sale was made.

Step 1: Register for TRACS (TRA Client Self-Service)

Step 2: Complete your claim

Step 3: Receive your refund

  • Receive your refund by direct deposit. If there were changes made to your claim, you will receive a letter of assessment by mail.

How to set up direct deposit

Maintain your account in TRACS

TRA Client Self-Service (TRACS) is a secure online system for authorized Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA) clients to conveniently conduct business with TRA. For more details and instructional videos, see TRACS information.

Retailers and distributors can do the following tasks in TRACS.

Retailers

Log in to your TRACS account to:

  • file retailer claims
  • view the status of submitted claims as to their receipt date and progress
  • view status of prior assessments, financial details and notices of assessment (if available)
  • access financial information and view account period balances
  • update address and contact information
  • delegate account access to other employees or authorized individuals

Distributors

Log in to your TRACS account to:

  • confirm receipt and completion of submitted returns
  • view status of prior assessments, financial details and notices of assessments (if available)
  • access financial information and view account period balances
  • update address and contact information
  • delegate account access to other employees or authorized individuals

Publications and forms

Information circulars

These documents discuss procedural matters and administrative policies and practices for programs administered by TRA. They are updated as necessary and a revision number assigned.

Cross-program information circulars

Fuel tax information circulars

Forms

If you have trouble opening fillable PDF forms, see the form instructions.

Sign up for updates

Subscribe to get TRA's publications and announcements by email

Contact

To submit forms

Please note: forms cannot be sent through email. Complete and print your forms and bring, mail or fax them to:

Tax and Revenue Administration
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
9811 109 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2L5

Fax: 780-427-0348

To connect with Tax and Revenue Administration

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3044
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: tra.revenue@gov.ab.ca