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.