In preparation for the adjustment to the ABST (Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax) rate charged by hotels, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) in collaboration with the Tourism Department met with Hoteliers as they embark on an educational campaign.
Deputy Commissioner of the IRD, Jermaine Jarvis advised the gathering that in an effort to level the playing field, all persons providing hotel accommodation are mandated by law, to register for the ABST.
According to the amended law, commencing March 1, 2020, existing hotels will start charging 14% in ABST for accommodation, which is an increase of 1%. This 1% increase will be used to market the country overseas and according to Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Authority, Colin James, these monies will be specifically channeled to airlift marketing.
It was further disclosed that over the years there has been leakages in the system and as such, efforts are been made to curb these leakages. To this end, starting June 1, 2020, ABST will be applicable to all types of Hotel and holiday accommodation, to include; Villas, Town Houses, Residence and all such Airbnb (air bed and Breakfast).
The Deputy Commissioner of the IRD said the department is aware that there will be some challenges in the initial stage but he assured hoteliers that his staff is willing and ready to assist persons who require further assistance in making the process smoother.
As the sensitization process continues another session is planned for March for the smaller hotels.