Outdoors tourism operators welcome the province’s planned staycation tax credit announced in the 2021 Fall Economic Statement earlier this month.
Ontarians would get a 20% personal income tax credit on eligible accommodation expenses between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022, up to a maximum of $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a family, for a maximum credit of $200 or $400, respectively.
Ontarians stepping up
The province expects the credit to provide an estimated $270 million to support about 1.85 million Ontario families.
Esnagami Wilderness Lodge ended up being 80% booked with just Ontario business in 2021 as Ontarians stepped up their in-province travel, said Eric Lund, who has owned and operated the business with wife Sue for more than 30 years.
He said incentives, including this tax credit, will only add to this developing trend.
“There has never been a better time for northern Ontario tourism to take advantage of this situation,” Lund said.
Expense requirements laid out
Ontario residents could apply for this refundable credit when they file their 2022 personal tax returns and benefit even if they do not owe any tax, the province stated on Nov. 4.
Eligible accommodation expenses must be:
- For a stay of less than a month at an eligible accommodation such as a hotel, motel, resort, lodge, bed-and-breakfast establishment, cottage or campground in Ontario
- Incurred for leisure purposes only
- Paid by the Ontario tax filer, their spouse or common-law partner, or their eligible child, as set out on a detailed receipt
- Not reimbursed to the tax filer, their spouse or common-law partner, or their eligible child, by any person, including by a friend or an employer
- Subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), as set out on a detailed receipt