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Air Canada..Charging U.S. Taxes To Yanks 'nCanada?  
User currently offlineFireFly From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 91 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 5877 times:

I'm finalizing a 2 week vacation where I will take my little boys to Canada via Boeing tours and a bi-plane flight over Seattle.

I rented a home on the ocean in B.C., and thought it might be fun to take a hop over to Calgary (I always look for an excuse to fly, and this one is just the right length for 7 & 5 yr. olds).

Checked Air Canada website and prices look pretty good, but as I get down to the "incidental" charges and fees, I see there is a "USA Transportation Tax" of $13.79 per ticket, and a "U.S. Flight Segment Tax" of $6.60/ticket. Of course these are on top of NavCan, Fuel, Canadian Airport Improvement fees and the G.S.T. tax.

Is this normal - flight originating in Canada, to a Canadian destination, not flying over the US? Is Air Canada just being a friendly neighbor and socking it to Americans just to turn the money over to the US Gov't? Will AC now charge the new Euro Flight Tax and French Flight Tax for the poor African Nations, just to be fair?

This is the first time I have seen this, but I have never flown AC only within Canada. Last question, if a Canadian is in PDX and takes AA to DFW, does AA charge the "Canadian Airport Improvement Fee" on top of all the U.S. taxes?


"Bury me at sea, boys; where no murdered ghosts can haunt me" MacGowan
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26718 posts, RR: 75
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5854 times:

I fly to and from Canada all the time, so this interested me. I called AC and even the Res agent was stumped, but because of the hour, he couldn't call ticketing to find out. The only thing I can think is that it relates to ATC, but that shouldn't be the case considering that the US doesn't charge NavCanada fees


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5764 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5799 times:

Just a guess, but I would bet the US levies thoses taxes on all airline tickets SOLD in their juristriction, even if the transportation does not involve the US.

I know that if I brought those tickets from AC in SYD I would pay Oz GST even though no air travel in Oz jurstriction is involved.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineTrvlr From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4430 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5792 times:

Does Air Canada let you book through their Canadian site? If you're paying with a credit card, I think you could probably get around the fees.

Aaron G.


User currently offlineBoeing757/767 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2282 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5743 times:

Or if the fare is decent, maybe purchase the tickets in Canada once you arrive?


Free-thinking, left-leaning secularist
User currently offlineRAPCON From Puerto Rico, joined Jul 2006, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5668 times:

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 2):
Just a guess, but I would bet the US levies thoses taxes on all airline tickets SOLD in their juristriction, even if the transportation does not involve the US.

Well in the case of the original poster, the flight to CAN originates in the US. Thus the transportation levies would be appropriate, just like the CAN taxes would also be appropriate. I see no problem with paying either of them--after all, it's a user tax that is specifically earmarked to maintain high quality services as the respective countries airports.



MODS CAN'T STOP ME....THEY CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN ME!!!
User currently offlineChalliday From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 88 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5591 times:

have you tried booking with WestJet?

User currently offlineDgehfx From Canada, joined May 2001, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5527 times:

I just asked an AC ticket agent friend about this. Here's his response:

Actually, it is US tax law. I just remembered....if the customer is 'purchasing' the ticket in the USA, and the cities are within the 250 mile 'buffer' zone (which the USA deems as part of their taxation zone), then those taxes do apply. (YEG is outside the 250 mile zone for example). If the customer were to use the Canadian site, he would not be able to proceed as he can not in-put his USA billing address required for on-line ticket purchase, on the Canadian site. They (the U.S.) have got you....!


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5452 times:

I thought the "U.S. Flight Segment Tax" was related to Security costs - I can almost understand a 'sales tax', but this is crazy! I assume there is no GST added to this ticket (which could make it cheaper than bought in Canada) or does the US consumer get Zinged by both?

User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5413 times:

Quoting RAPCON (Reply 5):
Well in the case of the original poster, the flight to CAN originates in the US

If you read the original post you will find that his flight originates in Canada. He is not flying to CAN, which is in China  Smile

Quoting Dgehfx (Reply 7):
if the customer is 'purchasing' the ticket in the USA, and the cities are within the 250 mile 'buffer' zone (which the USA deems as part of their taxation zone), then those taxes do apply.

Are you saying that the USA considers all territory withing 250 miles of the border to be US territory for taxation purposes? I find this very hard to believe. I would like to see a link to an official US government document confirming this.

Quoting Dgehfx (Reply 7):
If the customer were to use the Canadian site, he would not be able to proceed as he can not in-put his USA billing address required for on-line ticket purchase, on the Canadian site.

He can use the address of his rented house in BC, can he not? Or does it have to be the address on his credit card?


User currently offlineHagic From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5398 times:

Quoting Challiday (Reply 6):
if the customer is 'purchasing' the ticket in the USA, and the cities are within the 250 mile 'buffer' zone (which the USA deems as part of their taxation zone), then those taxes do apply

Well, this 'buffer zone' represents 90% of the total Canadian population.



There's only one freedom of the press: That of the survivors - (G. Arciniegas)
User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5384 times:

Quoting Olympus69 (Reply 9):
Are you saying that the USA considers all territory withing 250 miles of the border to be US territory for taxation purposes?

It's probably got more to do with the extent of US air traffic control. I don't think there's a brick wall at the border. I suspect that some US ATC extends north and some Canadian ATC extends south. Just a guess (although it would be a serious mistake to underestimate the willingness of the IRS to reach as far as it thinks it can get away with.)



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26718 posts, RR: 75
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5381 times:

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 2):
Just a guess, but I would bet the US levies thoses taxes on all airline tickets SOLD in their juristriction, even if the transportation does not involve the US.

Nope, that's not it. I actually called AC's call center and he did a dummy Canadian booking

Quoting Challiday (Reply 6):
have you tried booking with WestJet?

Same deal

Quoting ANother (Reply 8):
I thought the "U.S. Flight Segment Tax" was related to Security costs

That is the Federal September 11th Security Fee

Quoting ANother (Reply 8):
I assume there is no GST added to this ticket (which could make it cheaper than bought in Canada)

Actually, the GST doesn't add much to an airplane ticket price. It is the airport improvement fees that are what cost money in Canada. Still, it doesn't make any difference as the taxes and fees only average about $5-$10 more per ticket than in the US, despite what some shady LoCos in Canada may say.

Quoting Olympus69 (Reply 9):
He can use the address of his rented house in BC, can he not? Or does it have to be the address on his credit card?

It doesn't actually matter. I have purchased tickets in other countries using my US credit cards and never been taxed



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5368 times:

Quoting Hagic (Reply 10):
Are you saying that the USA considers all territory withing 250 miles of the border to be US territory for taxation purposes? I find this very hard to believe. I would like to see a link to an official US government document confirming this.

Well not an official US government document, but QF has an explanation of various taxes here. Scroll down to the US to see that indeed, for tickets sold in the US, and travel within the 250 mile buffer area a 7.5% tax (and segment tax) is applicable. The QF document (pdf file) is here: https://www.qantas.com.au/agents/dyn/qf/info/pdf/fares/taxes2190606.pdf


User currently offlineBA84 From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 420 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5345 times:
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Here's the text:

UNITED STATES Definitions
OF AMERICA 1. USA defined as: 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico.
2. The "225 mile international tax zone" includes all airports in Canada and Mexico
not more than 225 miles from the nearest point in Continental USA, i.e. the following
cities:
CANADA: Bagotville (YBG), Baie Comeau (YBC), Berens River (YBV), Brandon (YBR),
Calgary (YYC), Castlegar (YCG), Charlottetown (YYG), Comox (YQQ), Cranbrook (YXC),
Dauphin (YDN), Earlton (YXR), Forestville (YFE), Fort William, Ont, Fredericton (YFC),
Gaspe (YGP), Halifax (YHZ), Hamilton (YHM), Kamloops (YKA), Kapuskasing (YYU),
Kelowna (YLW), Kenora (YQK, Lax du Bonnet, Man, Lethbridge (YQL), Little
Grand Rapids (ZGR), London YXU), Long Lake, Man, Matane (YME), Medicine Hat
(YXH), Moncton (YQM), Mont Joly (YYY), Montreal (YMQ), Moose Jaw (YMJ), North
Bay (YYB), Norway House (YNE), Ottawa (YOW), Pembroke (YTA), Penticton (YYF),
Pickle Lake (YPL), Port Hardy (YZT), Powell River (YPW), Quebec (YQB), Red Lake
(YRL), Regina (YQR), Rimouski (YXK), Riviere du Loup (YRI), Roberval (YRJ), St Johns
(YYT), Saskatoon (YXE), Sault Ste, Marie (YAM), Sept Iles (YZV), Sious Lookout (YXL),
Sudbury (YSB), Summerside (YSU), Swift Current (YYN), Thunder Bay (YQT), Timmins
(YTS), Tofino (YAZ), Toronto (YTO), Val d' Or (YVO), Vancouver (YVR), Victoria (YYJ),
William Lake (YWL), Windsor (YQG), Winnipeg (YWG), Yarmouth (YQI), Yorktown (YQV).
MEXICO: Cananea (CNA), Chihuahua (CUU), Ciudad Juarez (CJS), Cuidad Victoria
(CVM), Ensenada (ESE), Hermosillo (HMO), Matamoros (MAM, Mexicali (MXL),
Monclova (LOV), Monterrey (MTY), Nogales (NOG), Neuvas Casas Grandes (NCG),
Nuevo Lardeo (NLD), Piedras Negras (PDS), Reynosa (REX), Saltillo (SLW), Tijuana
(TIJ).
3. "Uninterrupted international travel" is any transportation by air from one point in
USA to another point in USA and thence to a foreign point outside the 225 mile zone (e.g.
to a point in Europe), provided that no stopover in excess of six hours is scheduled at any
point in USA.
Note: An involuntary layer of more than 12 hours will not be considered as breaking the
uninterrupted international journey, provided that the scheduled layer was less than 12
hours.
4. For taxation purposes, a round trip is considered to consist of two separate trips.
One from the point of original departure to the point of turnaround (outbound trip) and
another from the point of turnaround to the point of original departure (inbound trip).


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5247 times:

Quoting BA84 (Reply 14):
CANADA: Bagotville (YBG), Baie Comeau (YBC),

Hey? What about Abottsford YXX?


User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5096 times:

Quoting BA84 (Reply 14):
The "225 mile international tax zone" includes all airports in Canada and Mexico
not more than 225 miles from the nearest point in Continental USA,

I knew it couldn't be true - it's actually only 225 miles not 250  Smile


User currently offlineFireFly From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 91 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5060 times:

Quoting RAPCON (Reply 5):
Well in the case of the original poster, the flight to CAN originates in the US.

I should have been clear, I am driving so as to stop at points along the way. I was just looking for tickets from Van to Calg.

Quoting ANother (Reply 8):
I assume there is no GST added to this ticket (which could make it cheaper than bought in Canada) or does the US consumer get Zinged by both?

GST, in fact, all Canadian taxes and fees (unless I am missing some) were charged, in addition to the US fees & taxes...

Quoting BA84 (Reply 14):
3. "Uninterrupted international travel" is any transportation by air from one point in
USA to another point in USA and thence to a foreign point outside the 225 mile zone (e.g.
to a point in Europe), provided that no stopover in excess of six hours is scheduled at any
point in USA.

Thanks for the legal info. Perhaps there is not enough info here, as I do not see the relationship between the "uninterrupted int'l travel" and the 225 mile buffer zone. Are they saying if I fly from PDX to PHL and then on to SNN I again have to pay the tax?? As the flight here would originate in US, it would seem sensable to be charged the tax.

As an aside, thanks all for mentioning WestJet. I did look there first, as a matter of fact, and saw they had a "summer sale" promo, with their best summer fares, sale expiring July 14.
As I went to Air Canada, sure enough, they had their "summer sale" promo with their best summer fares, expiring July 14! I have only once flown AC (international) and rather liked the airline, but I am pleased to see WestJet is now providing competition in the Canadian market. Best of luck to them.

Anyway, anyone can go to the AC website and see the taxes. Unfortunately, this likely is, as quoted above, an American law. Wonder what would happen if the Canadian airlines told the IRS to shove it!

I thank everyone for the immediate replies.

Instead of Calgary, we are going to take a float plane and cruise around Vancouver!



"Bury me at sea, boys; where no murdered ghosts can haunt me" MacGowan
User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5764 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4998 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 12):
Quoting Gemuser (Reply 2):
Just a guess, but I would bet the US levies thoses taxes on all airline tickets SOLD in their juristriction, even if the transportation does not involve the US.

Nope, that's not it. I actually called AC's call center and he did a dummy Canadian booking

Are you saying a journey wholey within CA, that is within 225 miles of the US boarder attracts US tax, EVEN IF THE TICKET IS BROUGHT IN CA??????????

Didn't you lot stage a tea party in BOS a few years ago over this very subject?

Gemuser



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User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 18):
Are you saying a journey wholey within CA, that is within 225 miles of the US boarder attracts US tax, EVEN IF THE TICKET IS BROUGHT IN CA??????????

I think he's (was) trying to buy the ticket in the US with his US credit card. I'm betting that if he bought the same ticket in Canada, even with the US credit card, there would be no US tax applied. If the US tax does still apply, then we should definitely recreate the Boston Tea Party in Vancouver Harbour -- I nominate Microsoft products.

Quoting FireFly (Reply 17):
Wonder what would happen if the Canadian airlines told the IRS to shove it!

They would suddenly find all their US operations under a comprehensive tax audit, followed by a removal of any U.S. operating certificates, seizure of U.S. property, etc., etc. Don't mess with the IRS. They don't get mad, they get much more than even.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4851 times:

Quoting Arrow (Reply 19):
EVEN IF THE TICKET IS BROUGHT IN CA??????????

NO! Only if the ticket is bought in the USA.


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