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Cape Breton Island Marketing Levy Set at 3%

As of January 1, 2024, the Cape Breton Island Marketing Levy is now set at 3% on all fixed-roof tourist accommodations. This includes short-term rentals like Airbnb, VRBO, etc. that are registered under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act

Accommodation operators, please make the necessary adjustments to booking and billing systems to ensure that your business is compliant. Click the link for your municipality below for more information:

Frequently Asked Questions About the Marketing Levy

Yes. As of 1 April 2023, changes to tourist accommodations registration regulations came into effect. Under the changes, most tourist accommodations need to register with the Tourist Accommodations Registry, including tourist accommodations in a primary residence or attached to a primary residence.

A new Marketing Levy reporting and remitting platform is currently in development. This new online platform will simplify the process for accommodation providers and allow for online remittance of levies collected. More information on the platform will be provided soon.

The Marketing Levy applies to ALL fixed-roof, tourism accommodations within the boundaries of the five municipalities on Cape Breton Island, as required to be registered under the Nova Scotia Tourism Accommodation Registration Act. By law, tourist accommodations must register to operate in Nova Scotia if they provide short-term accommodations for 28 days in a row or less. Examples of tourist accommodations that need to be registered include:

  • Apartments, condos, houses and vacation homes
  • Bed and breakfasts
  • Cottages, cabins and tiny homes
  • Dormitory-style rooms and hostels
  • Hotels, motels and inns
  • Resorts
  • Rooms (including a room in a home)
  • Self-contained secondary suites (like a basement apartment or a loft above a garage)
  • Unusual lodgings (like yurts, domes and camping trailers)

For more information, go to: https://tourismns.ca/accommodation-registry-information.

A 3% Marketing Levy must be collected on the purchase price of all accommodations.

It’s important that you make clear on any receipt or bill provided to a guest:

  • The total cost of the accommodation charged
  • The total amount of Marketing Levy charged to the customer on this accommodation
  • Clearly indicate that the Marketing Levy charged is subject to HST

The Marketing Levy should not be charged on exempt purchases, such as meals. If you offer packaged accommodations with meals and other specialized services included, then you must remit the levy on the purchase price of accommodations offered without these specialized inclusions. Please note that the Marketing Levy must be collected regardless of the payment method for accommodations. That is, if the guest pays in cash, installments or otherwise, the levy is still applicable.

If the Marketing Levy applies to your business, you must register with your applicable municipality.

After registration, you will be assigned a unique Registration Number (RN) that will be important to include and reference in all communication with the municipality regarding your business. You will also be assigned a registration certificate. The registration certificate must be visibly displayed so accommodation guests can view the certificate and understand what they are being charged.

As of January 2024, the Marketing Levy rate to be charged by accommodation providers is 3% of the purchase price of the accommodation. Please note: the Marketing Levy is NOT exempt from HST, so the Levy must be applied before the tax. The levy is charged on all fixed-roof accommodations and includes short-term rentals like Airbnb, VRBO, etc. that are registered under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act.

Tag: levy

You’ll need to turn on professional hosting tools to access this feature.

If we don’t already collect and remit taxes for your listing

  1. Go to your Listings page and click the listing that you want to edit
  2. Select Local taxes and laws
  3. Click Add a tax
  4. Select the Tax type from the drop-down menu
  5. Select the Type of charge and then add the amount being collected in the box under Amount
  6. Add your Business tax ID and Accommodations tax registration number (read additional info about tax IDs below) if applicable to your listing jurisdiction
  7. Choose whether your region provides an exemption for long-term stays (if you choose Yes, you’ll be given the option to provide additional details)
  8. Agree to the terms and click Save

More information

A database of accommodations required to remit is held by each municipality on Cape Breton Island. A failure to remit on time may result in interest accumulated on overdue remittances. The interest charged to overdue remittances is 4% above the prime rate. Additionally, a failure to remit may also result in a municipal conviction. A first conviction includes a fine that falls between $500 – $1000 and a second subsequent conviction includes a fine that falls between $1500 and $5000.

You are required to maintain records of accounts and documents that can show sales of accommodation (exempt and non-exempt), levy collected and remittance. These records must be kept for 6 years and each municipality has the right to inspect or audit these records with written notice.

All guests who stay in fixed-roof accommodations must pay the levy, unless they fit into one of the exempted categories. The Marketing Levy is subject to HST.

Exemptions to paying the Marketing Levy include:

  • A person who pays for Accommodation for which the daily Purchase Price is no more than twenty dollars ($20.00)
  • a student who is accommodated in a building owned or operated by a post-secondary educational institution while the student is registered at and attending that post-secondary educational institution
  • a person who is accommodated in a room for more than thirty (30) consecutive days
  • a person and the person’s family, accommodated while the person or a member of the person’s family is receiving medical treatment at a hospital or provincial health-care centre or is seeking specialist medical advice provided the person provides the operator with a statement from a hospital, provincial health-care centre or a physician licensed to practice medicine in the Province of Nova Scotia that the person or a member of the person’s family is seeking specialist medical advice and is therefore in need of accommodation
  • a person and the person’s family, accommodated while the person and the person’s family have been temporarily displaced from their home due to a natural disaster, including high wind event, flood event, fire or other naturally occurring damaging event

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