With short term accommodation in Jamaica, there is a 'room tax' of $1 per night per person (GART) for smaller hotels of less than 50 rooms rising to $4 for 100 room hotels. While not a great deal of money, it helps a little in supporting tourism operations in Jamaica.
1. What is Guest Accommodation Room Tax (GART)?
- This tax is levied on occupied guest accommodations
2. What is a guest accommodation?
- Guest accommodation means a facility providing sleeping accommodation by itself or together with facilities for meals, and other amenities for the accommodation of transient guests, including tourists (within the meaning of the Tourist Board Act) and whether or not provided for reward; but shall not include:
- Any letting for residential purposes
- Any accommodation provided for persons under a contract of service with the operator
- A house use room
3. What is sleeping accommodation?
- These are accommodations specifically designed or built for sleeping or intended for sleeping purposes.
4. What is a House Use Room?
- “House Use Rooms” means sleeping accommodation in a guest accommodation, which would normally be available for occupancy by transient guests as a guest accommodation room, but has been assigned to facilitate short stay accommodation for persons employed, contracted to or otherwise working within or for the guest accommodation such as:
- Permanent staff of the guest accommodation who are required to remain on property to facilitate overnight assignments
- Staff employed to an entity connected to or who are on assignment in relation to the guest accommodation who are staying for the purpose of accomplishing assignments for the operator
- Staff of the guest accommodation who are accommodated in-house as temporary measure awaiting their permanent accommodation becoming available
- Entertainers engaged to perform on property who remain on property overnight to facilitate their entertainment assignments
- Staff of the guest accommodation or board members of the guest accommodation operating company who are on short term company related assignments
5. Who is the tax imposed on?
- The tax is imposed on all operators of any guest accommodation, whether or not licensed under the Tourist Board Act.
- Guest accommodations include:
- Bed & Breakfast
- Villas & Apartments
- Guest House
NOTE: Once the accommodation is offered as a guest accommodation the tax is applicable. The tax is applicable whether or not the operator is a registered taxpayer for the purposes of the GCT Act.
6. Who is an operator?
- An operator means the person who owns the business concerned with the operation of any guest accommodation and includes the manager or other principal officer of that business or any person deemed by the Commissioner General as the person responsible for the operation of the guest accommodation, whether or not that accommodation or operator is registered under the Tourist Board Act or General Consumption Tax Act.
7. Who is a guest?
- A guest is any person occupying a room on a temporary or transient basis.
8. Which Order governs this tax?
- The tax is governed under the Provisional Collection of Tax (Guest Accommodation Room Tax) Order, 2012
- This Order adopts the compliance features of the GCT Act (e.g. Penalty, Failure to File, Failure to Pay, Filing of Returns, etc.)
. When does this tax take effect?
- The tax took effect September 1, 2012.
10. What are the rates for this tax?
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- The tax will be charged per night/per letting on all occupied guest accommodation, based on the size of the property as follows:
- 1 to 51 rooms US$1
- 51 to100 rooms US$2
- 101 rooms and above US$4
- Note that complimentary rooms attract the GART