“Explore America” Tax Credit: Potential Post-COVID-19 Travel Incentives Considered to Boost Hospitality Industry

June 22, 2020

By  Tim Schuster

Most business have felt the impact of COVID-19 to some degree. However, the industry that was hit the hardest is leisure and hospitality. Many in the hotel and travel industry have been looking for stimulus, hoping for measures that will help incentivize those willing to travel – such as a new tax credit.  “To reduce the time it takes to get to full recovery, Congress should create a new tax credit to encourage domestic business and leisure travelers to travel within a specified time frame, similar to what was done through the homebuyer tax credit in the wake of the housing crisis,” U.S. Travel Association said recently. The current administration is exploring the option of a tax credit to incentivize domestic credit called “Explore America.”

While this credit is still in discussion, it could cover up to 50% of a household’s total vacation expenses up to $4,000. Additional preliminary information on the credit also includes travel expenses, according to the proposal, “over $50 that is incurred while traveling away from home in the U.S., with explicit reference to the expense of meals, lodging, recreation, transportation, amusement or entertainment, business meetings or events, and gasoline.”

 

This would certainly be a boon for the already devastated hospitality industry and many are hopeful some version of this credit is passed in a future stimulus package.  

About Tim Schuster

Mr. Schuster is a Senior Manager providing tax compliance services to individual filers, as well as assistance on tax returns for companies in the manufacturing and real estate industries.