COVID-19 has brought on a public health emergency and has also thrown the economy into a black hole. While the Paycheck Protection Program and the CARES Act have offered short-term relief to Americans, government officials are continuing to map out new guidelines to assist the industries hardest hit.
In a roundtable discussion with restaurant executives and industry leaders on May 18, President Trump floated the idea of a tax deduction for Americans that could potentially help re-stimulate the economy. "Create an ‘Explore America’—that’s ‘Explore,’ right? Explore America tax credit that Americans can use for domestic travel, including visits to restaurants," he said. However, since those remarks last month, no further details of this tax credit has been announced.
Bambridge Accountants New York outlined on Newswire what this plan could look like if passed. "The Explore America Tax Credit would provide tax relief, proposed at $4,000 per household, for Americans to go back to restaurants and domestic travel." In short, those who put money back into the restaurant and travel industry could be rewarded come tax season.
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The initial proposal includes a tax credit of up to 50 percent of a household’s spending on expenses including airfares, car rentals, hotels, theme parks, and restaurants. It would apply to eligible expenses in 2020 and 2021 and would be capped at $4,000 per household.
"An 'Explore America' tax credit and campaign will do wonders to put America back on the path to prosperity," wrote the U.S. Travel Association in a statement. The Independent Restaurant Coalition also welcomed the idea: "We are grateful that President Trump and Congress are taking the concerns of our industry seriously and look forward to working together to ensure our businesses can survive this crisis and our employees can get back to work."
It is unclear if this measure has been proposed in the United States House of Representatives or Senate yet and where or if it has entered the legislative process. However, fingers crossed that the "Explore America Tax Credit" does become enacted, as I'm sure we're all itching to go out to eat and travel once it's safe again. It's a win-win for everyone.
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