Cabinet has approved that the Ministry and the Department of Tourism waive the 13% tourist accommodation tax from 1 April to 30 Sept. Surcharges for late payment of tourism taxes for the months of February and March 2020 will also be waived.
The measures have been adopted as a result of the closure of the Government Administration Building in accordance with the COVID-19 shelter-in-place provisions, which came into effect on 25 March, the ministry said in a press release.
The ministry said this temporary relief measure for the tourism-accommodation sector would assist many properties that are currently closed and struggling to meet their financial obligations during this COVID-19 crisis lockdown.
Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell said, “The Ministry of Tourism and DOT are committed to the development of strategic medium to long term plans for tourism that will help our industry today and prepare us for the future when our country resumes tourism activities.”
He said, “The Cayman Islands tourism industry is resilient and together we will build it back stronger than ever.”
Tourist accommodation tax return forms will not be required for submission until 1 Sept. 2020 for all accommodations. If guests are currently staying at a tourist accommodation, the tax of 13% is waived for the approved period of 1 April to 30 Sept.
Timeshare tax is not included in the waiver and the usual submission requirements apply, according to the ministry statement.
The ministry reminded all businesses that during the COVID-19 crisis, the Public Health Regulations are in effect with the goal of preventing, controlling and suppressing the transmission of this virus. All violations are being strictly enforced by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.