Tourism Accommodation levy put on hold

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Gaston Browne, PM of Antigua and Barbuda
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Enforcement of the Tourism Accommodation Levy (TAL) – previously scheduled to come into effect this year – will be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said during the budget presentation earlier this year, that the new charge would be laid on hotels and other such accommodations, and that funds gathered would help establish a Climate Resilience and Development Fund (CDR).

Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department, Ralph Warner, told an Observer radio programme the tax had been put on hold.

However, he noted that the “one percent increase in ABST that the Tourism Authority should benefit from, that has already been introduced since March 1 2020.”

Furthermore, the Commissioner also revealed that a five percent discount on property tax – which is on a more fluid rather than fixed payment schedule – will be extended from its initial end date to assist residents.

“For example, some are due through March 31, some are due April, some are due June, and the five percent discount will be extended up until June to accommodate those persons,” he said.

He added that in reference to incorporated businesses and the payment of those relevant taxes, the department would be exercising discretion and understanding towards its customers.

“Because of what is happening, we will facilitate taxpayers as much as possible. We have to be mindful of the environment and what is happening around us and, yes, we will facilitate taxpayers in that area,” Warner said.

Over the last few weeks, several hotels have been forced to lay off workers or close their doors due to global restrictions that stemmed from the coronavirus pandemic. Several more hotels will temporarily close today.

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