Tax and legal

Stay and Spend Scheme

The ‘Stay and Spend’ scheme allows for individuals to receive up to €125 back on their bills in hotels, restaurants, pubs and in other hospitality businesses, in Ireland. For a couple, this is doubled to a maximum of €250. The bill must be incurred between 1 October 2020 and 30 April 2021 and certain terms and conditions must be satisfied.

This new ‘Stay and Spend’ Scheme was introduced by government as part of the July Jobs Stimulus package and is aimed at stimulating sales in the hospitality sector during the off-peak season.

For hospitality businesses to participate in the scheme they must register as a ‘Qualifying Service Provider’ (QSP) with Revenue before 1 October 2020, registration for the scheme is now open.

What relief is available?

The relief is in the form of a tax credit of 20% on the amount of qualifying expenditure. This will, for most, result in a 20% tax refund of the costs incurred.   

The relief is subject to a cap on the costs incurred; €625 for a single individual, which results in a maximum tax credit of €125.  For a jointly assessed couple, the cap on costs is €1,250 which equates to a maximum tax credit of €250.

There is a minimum spend of €25 on a single transaction with a QSP.   

The table below shows the tax credit that may be available.  

Qualifying Expenditure (QE)

Tax Credit (20% of QE)

Single Individual (Allowable Tax Credit)

Joint Couple (Allowable Tax Credit)

€150

€30

€30

€30

€500

€100

€100

€100

€625

€125

€125

€125

€1,000

€200

€125

€200

€1,250

€250

€125

€250

The scheme spans two tax years i.e. 2020 and 2021, but the maximum credit is applicable for the duration of the scheme e.g. if a credit of €125 is claimed by a single individual in the tax year 2020, no further credit is available for 2021.

Individuals will be required to submit a copy of the receipts to Revenue, supporting the costs incurred.   This can be done via the Revenue Receipts Tracker App. Details such as the name of the service provider, type of service received and whether any of the expenditure does not qualify e.g. alcoholic drinks, must also be submitted. 

What costs qualify

Costs that meet the criteria of qualifying expenditure will qualify for the tax credit. The spend on holiday accommodation, ‘sit-in’ food and non–alcoholic drinks with a QSP is classed as qualifying expenditure.  The qualifying expenditure does not have to be incurred while on a ‘staycation’ within Ireland, expenditure incurred by individuals in their local community will also qualify.

If claiming relief on holiday accommodation spend, the accommodation must be registered or listed with Fáilte Ireland.  Any providers of holiday accommodation who are not legally required to register with Fáilte Ireland, can do so voluntarily.

Food and drink spend will only qualify for relief when it is consumed on the premises; food provided on a take-away basis will not qualify.  

How can businesses qualify

To become a QSP a business must:

  • Provide holiday accommodation, ‘sit-in’ food and non–alcoholic drinks
  • Complete the Stay and Spend e-registration process via Revenue Online Service
  • Be registered for VAT (even if not legally required to do so)
  • Hold a current tax clearance certificate

All of the above must be satisfied. Revenue have confirmed a tax clearance certificate will not be withheld for any business that has availed of the Debt Warehousing arrangements.

What next

Registration for businesses wishing to be classed as QSPs is now open on ROS.  Certain steps must be followed when registering. 

Revenue will publish a list of all qualifying businesses on their website. 

A QSP’s will also be able to display the logo below to indicate to customers their participation in the scheme.

Contact your Grant Thornton adviser to learn more and to discuss how we can assist your business to qualify and register for the scheme.

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