Of the industries impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the travel and tourism industries have undoubtedly endured a significant amount of harm over the last few months. With international travel bans, regional restrictions, and widespread closures, the spring and summer seasons have witnessed a harsh decline in travel compared to previous years. In an effort to combat the impact and stimulate the tourism industry as well as the economy at large, lawmakers are proposing and endorsing legislation that would provide tax credits for American citizens to use for domestic travel.
Over the course of the pandemic so far, businesses like restaurants, hotels, airlines, and more have suffered due to restrictions put in place for public health reasons. The TRIP (American Tax Rebate and Incentive Program) Act would provide a tax credit up to $4000 per adult that could be used by traveling citizens to cover various expenses including food, lodging, travel, and entertainment. There would be some limitations, however. While airfare would be completely covered by this credit, families driving to their destination with their own vehicle would only be able to claim 57.5¢ per mile, the standard business travel mileage rate.
In order to use this tax credit, citizens would need to choose a destination that is at least 50 miles from where they live that is also within the U.S. or its territories, and the proposed credit would only be valid in 2020 and 2021.
Another piece of legislation that supports the idea of tax credits for domestic travel is The Explore America Tax Credit. With this proposal, Americans would be eligible for a rebate of 50% for their expenses related to domestic travel up to $8000 per household.
At this time, no legislation related to travel tax credits have been passed, but the idea is a prominent one designed to boost the economy and bolster the travel and tourism industries. Any additional stimulus programs may include incentives like these proposed tax credits for citizens to engage in domestic travel, as well.
For anyone looking to travel in the near future, taking the proper precautions, conducting significant research, and preparing backup plans in case of emergency would be wise.
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