Take advantage of our governments new Stay and Spend scheme and claim up to €125 back on your next staycation.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we all need a holiday! We may not be able to travel abroad at present, but we can certainly enjoy short breaks or holidays in Ireland. Anything that will encourage us to take more staycations is welcome, including the new Stay and Spend scheme that was introduced by government and comes into effect on October 1st 2020.
The new Stay and Spend scheme is aimed at boosting the tourism and hospitality sector during the low season, from 1st October – 30th April. Families will be glad to hear that this also covers the busy periods of the October mid term break, Christmas and Easter holidays.
The new scheme offers taxpayers the opportunity to claim back 20% of the amount spent in restaurants, pubs, hotels and other qualifying businesses during this time, subject to a maximum spend of €625 per person.
If you choose to spend €625, this will equate to a saving, or tax credit, of €125 per person. Perhaps now is the time to splash out and treat yourself to a well deserved break?
It is important to note that the Stay and Spend scheme is only available to taxpayers. You will need to have an income tax or USC liability which the tax credit can be offset against.
How do I claim money back on the Stay and Spend scheme ?
It would be easier and more inclusive for the consumer if the 20% savings were made directly on your hotel or restaurant bill, however, claiming your tax credit is actually quite easy.
You simply download the Revenue Receipts Tracker app on the App Store or Google Play Store. You will need a PPS number to register, but I downloaded the app today and found it very straight forward. I was also surprised to learn that you can use this app to submit health and other expenses too!
To submit your claim, take a photograph of your receipt on your mobile phone and upload this through the app. There is a minimum spend of €25 per transaction, but you can upload as many receipts as you like, up to a maximum spend of €625.
Revenue will provide an income tax credit of up to €125 (or 20% of entire spend) per taxpayer, or €250 for a married couple who are jointly assessed.
Are all hospitality businesses included in the Stay and Spend scheme?
Businesses need to register with Revenue to participate in the scheme. They need to be VAT registered, have a current tax clearance certificate, and be registered with an official body such as Fáilte Ireland, HSE etc.
It is important to check in advance of booking if the establishment you wish to visit has registered for the stay and spend scheme. Details of the businesses registered for the scheme will be available on revenue.ie, and 1600 businesses have registered already.
Are there any exceptions?
While you can claim relief on accommodation, food and soft drinks, alcohol or take-away food is not included. There is also a minimum spend of €25 per person at any one time. As previously mentioned the Stay and Spend scheme is only available to taxpayers – this means many people including pensioners and carers who don’t pay tax, will not be eligible for the scheme.
Now that you know how to claim money back via the Stay and Spend scheme, why not book a nice staycation over the next few months? Some of my latest posts might be of interest and I have lots more holidays in Ireland on my website.