TT tourist accommodation still lacking

Saturday 5th March 2022 12:11 pm
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TT practice and qualifying during the afternoon of Sunday, June 2 2019 -

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The number of Homestay beds available for this year’s TT is significantly down on 2019’s figure.

As at February 23, there were 522 Homestay properties registered, down from a pre-pandemic 951.

Homestay bed spaces this year (so far) total 2,335, whereas in 2019 there were 4,167.

The Department for Enterprise says that 580 tourist accommodation properties (including hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast etc) are registered, amounting to 6,037 bed spaces.

In addition, 35 campsites are registered, with about 8,333 bed spaces or pitches. In 2019, 38% of visitors for the TT stayed at campsites.

The Homestay scheme, which operates for both the TT and the Manx Grand Prix, adds additional bed spaces to the overall tourism stock for these two event periods in return for tax breaks for people who rent out rooms.

The Department for Enterprise keeps a register of tourist accommodation.

It says that the number of registered accommodation and Homestay properties is subject to change.

Questions surround whether this will be enough - given the fact that in 2019, 46,174 visitors came to the Isle of Man for the TT.

Back in January, we reported that the government was encouraging more homeowners to sign up for the scheme, and in the island’s 2022 Budget announced last month, the Treasury Minister David Ashford announced a change in respect of the taxation of rental income received under the TT Homestay scheme.

In his budget speech Mr Ashford announced the replacement of the £1,800 extra statutory concession on TT Homestay income with a new allowance of £2,350 from April 6, 2022.

The Department for Enterprise stated that the new allowance - which is now written into statute - ’removes the "cliff-edge" approach of the old method, where income above £1,800 was chargeable in full and instead introduces an allowance which is available in lieu of expenses’.

It provided some illustrative examples: for instance - Mr Jones is registered under the Homestay scheme for 2022 for the house in which he and his family live in during the year.

They have decided to go on holiday, off island, during the TT period and rent out their home on a bed only basis.

The house will accommodate six people, the maximum number of guests permitted under the TT Homestay Scheme.

The house will cost £180 per night and is rented out from Saturday, May 28, to Saturday, June 11 (14 nights). A total of £2,520 is received for the rental period.

Mr Jones completes his tax return for the 2022/23 tax year and declares that he received £2,520 TT Homestay rental income.

An allowance of £2,350 (the maximum TT Homestay allowance) is deducted from his TT Homestay rental income received, which in the case of Mr Jones leaves £170.

As Mr Jones is claiming the TT Homestay allowance, he is not entitled to a normal expense claim. Mr Jones is taxed only on the remaining £170.

Elsewhere in the Budget, the department secured a revenue budget increase of £1.2m for the motorsport team to support the return of the TT and Manx Grand Prix this year after a two-year hiatus.

A spokesperson for the department said: ’The investment is designed to benefit both the TT and the Manx Grand Prix as well as other motorsport events that take place in the annual calendar.

’The budget increase represents a realistic cost to effectively fund all aspects of the delivery of both the TT and Manx Grand Prix, addressing rising costs in the process, as well as other motorsport events that take place in the Isle of Man, to ensure their long term sustainability as these events remain critical to growing the visitor economy.

’It includes ongoing investment in the new Safety Management System (SMS) as well as investment in marketing to increase the digital and visitor audience and event infrastructure and equipment.’

The government reiterated that anyone wishing to let their property out to visitors during the TT and MGP periods must be registered with either Visit Isle of Man (year-round accommodation) or MiQuando (Homestay for TT and MGP only).

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