An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, and the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin TD have today (Thursday) launched the Stay and Spend scheme.
Stay and Spend is a tax scheme aimed at consumers to help drive sales in the hospitality sector during the off-season which has been negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19.
The scheme will provide a maximum of €125 in income tax credits to tax-payers who spend up to €625 in restaurants, pubs, hotels, B&Bs and other qualifying businesses, from Autumn 2020 through to Spring 2021, including over the Christmas period.
Where a taxpayer has insufficient income tax liability to fully benefit from the measure, they may still avail of the relief against their USC contributions.
Speaking at the launch of the Stay and Spend Scheme, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin said:
“This government is determined to support businesses across Ireland which have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. While many sectors have taken a hit, the hospitality industry is undoubtedly one of the worst affected by the public health measures which have had to be imposed to stop the spread of the virus.
"We recognise the strain that restaurant owners, hoteliers, bar and café owners are under and have taken steps to help them through this difficult period. The Stay and Spend scheme will encourage people to go out for a meal or take a staycation and support the Irish hospitality sector by enabling them to claim back 20% of their spend.
"The tourism and hospitality sector is so important in this country; Ireland’s reputation as a prime tourist destination is built on the hard work and dedication of those working in the industry. We need to protect these jobs and businesses and the government has put in a range of supports through the July Stimulus plan and other measures to help them recover from the effects of COVID-19.
"I’m encouraging all eligible businesses to register with Revenue so that they can participate in the scheme next month."
The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said:
“The hospitality sector has been particularly badly hit as a result of the necessary public health restrictions put in place to tackle COVID-19.
"The sector is vital to the Irish economy and accounts for over 10% of the country’s workforce. The purpose of the Stay and Spend scheme is to support this sector.
"This measure is just one part of the government’s July Jobs Stimulus, which also includes the wage subsidy schemes and the recent reduction in the VAT rate. This new tax credit will provide a much-needed boost to the hospitality sector through the autumn and winter months by encouraging people to spend whether through a staycation or eating out.
"The scheme comes into effect on 1 October, but accommodation and food businesses can now register with the Revenue Commissioners to participate.
"I am confident that this measure will support the sector as it moves towards recovery."
Also commenting, Minister Catherine Martin welcomed the Stay and Spend Scheme.
"The Stay and Spend Scheme will offer a much-needed boost to the tourism sector during the shoulder and off season. To maximise the benefit to the sector, I have asked Fáilte Ireland to commence a national campaign across radio and press next week to inform the general public about the scheme and help them understand how they can avail of the tax credit. Fáilte will also be helping tourism businesses get the message out to potential customers that they have registered for the scheme."
The Stay and Spend Scheme is being supported by Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, who will both promote the scheme to consumers and encourage businesses to register to participate with a national radio and press campaign kicking off on Saturday, 5 September.
The Stay and Spend Scheme runs from 1 October to 30 April.
To find out more, and view the list of participating businesses visit www.revenue.ie.
You can download the new Revenue Receipts Tracker App in the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Registration to participate in the scheme is now open for tourism accommodation and food and beverage businesses through Revenue’s Online Service, ROS.
Notes to the Editor:
Summary of Stay and Spend Scheme
At the level of individual taxpayer:
relief on accommodation and food, including soft drinks, but not including alcohol
in the case of food, consumption on the premises is required
a minimum spend of €25 per person per time/ Maximum spend limit of €625 (VAT inclusive) over life of scheme
refund of 20% of the vouched cost through income tax i.e. maximum tax credit of €125 per person. (For married couples who are jointly assessed, the maximum spend over the life of the scheme will €1,250)
where an individual or jointly assessed tax-payer has insufficient income tax liability to fully benefit from the measure, they may still avail of the relief against their USC contributions
operated through downloadable easy-to-use Revenue mobile phone app
At the level of the business:
VAT registered provider with current tax clearance
scheme will run from 1 October 2020 – 30 April 2021, including over the Christmas period. The expiry date may be altered by order made by the Minister for Finance
Purpose of the scheme
The purpose of the scheme is to incentivise taxpayers to support registered/accredited providers of accommodation and/or food during the off-season, thus providing support to a particularly vulnerable sector.
Businesses: In order to qualify for participation in the scheme, businesses will need to:
be registered for VAT
have a current tax clearance certificate
be accredited/registered with relevant official bodies as appropriate (Fáilte Ireland and the HSE Environmental Health Service)
register with Revenue to participate
display appropriate signage indicating participation in the scheme
Individual taxpayers: To benefit from the scheme, an individual will need to:
register for the scheme by downloading the app and provide his/her name and PPS Number in the course of using the app
have an income tax or USC liability against which the tax credit can be set
Operation of the scheme
An individual taxpayer must spend a minimum of €25 each time on qualifying expenditure (accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks) as verified by a receipt from the relevant establishment. The taxpayer will submit the receipt by taking a photograph of same using a mobile phone and submitting same to Revenue using the mobile app. The taxpayer may continue to submit receipts until the cap on expenditure of €625 is reached. Revenue will provide an income tax credit of up to €125 (€625 @20%) per taxpayer (up to €250 in the case of a married couple, jointly assessed) in end of year balancing statement. The taxpayer will get the benefit of the credit in the year after the expenditure is incurred.