What types of accommodations are exempted from this tax?
- Accommodations that are rented by the month
- Lodgings provided to students by a university, college or post-secondary while the student is registered at and attending the institution.
- Every hospital referred to in the list of hospitals and their grades and classifications maintained by the minister of Health and Long-Term Care under the Public Hospitals Act and every private hospital operated under the authority of a license issued under the Private Hospitals Act
- Every long-term care home as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, retirement home and hospices
- Treatment centres that receive provincial aid under the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act
- Every house of refuge, or lodging for the reformation of offenders
- Every charitable, non-profit philanthropic corporation organized as shelters for the relief of the poor or for emergency
- Every tent or trailer sites supplied by a campground, tourist camp or trailer park
- Every accommodation supplied by employers to their employees in premises operated by the employer
- Every hospitality room in an establishment that does not contain a bed and is used for displaying merchandise, holding meetings, or entertaining
A traditional Bed & Breakfast operator may apply to the City for an exemption from the charging and remittance of the Municipal Accommodation Tax, provided that the application sufficiently meets the City’s eligibility criteria:
- The Bed & Breakfast establishment meets the definition of the Zoning By-law 2008-250 as amended
- The Bed & Breakfast establishment is occupied and operated by the property owner, and is classified in the residential property tax class
- The accommodation purchases are invoiced by the Bed & Breakfast establishment and not a third party home-sharing listing entity
Bed & Breakfast operators requesting an exemption to the Municipal Accommodation Tax should contact the City at email@example.com to receive an exemption application. Completed applications will be reviewed by the City for approval, and a formal notification will be provided to Accommodators. Until an exemption has been granted to you, you are not considered to be exempt from the Municipal Accommodation Tax and are required to collect and remit the applicable funds. Renewal requirements of the application for exemption will be communicated later in 2018.
How much is the Municipal Accommodation Tax, and how is it applied?
The Municipal Accommodation Tax is 4%, comes into effect January 1, 2018 and is only applicable to the room portion of the costs associated to overnight accommodations. All other revenues generated from the accommodation services; whether sold individually or included in a room package; are excluded from the Municipal Accommodation Tax, including but not limited to, meeting room rental, food and beverage, room service, laundry services, internet access, parking etc.
Refunds and cancellations: The Municipal Accommodation Tax is refundable on a pro-rated schedule, calculated on the accommodation portion of a customer’s bill that is also refunded.
The HST is applicable to the funds received from the Municipal Accommodation Tax if the business is an HST registrant.
How do I remit the Municipal Accommodation Tax that I have collected?
The City of Ottawa has authorized the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association (OGHA) to collect the tax on their behalf and to administer the transition of the funds to Ottawa Tourism for the purposes of promoting and growing the tourism industry in Ottawa.
The remittance process will include a monthly remittance form which is available on the OGHA website and payments will be made through EMT or by cheque. Submissions and payment will be due within 30 days of the previous month. For smaller establishments a request can be made to OGHA to remit quarterly.
Contact the OGHA to access login credentials, receive instructions on submission deadlines and to set up an account.
Any late remittances will be charged an interest rate of 1.25% per month.
Is there an auditing process to verify monthly submissions?
Both the City of Ottawa and OGHA will routinely select submissions for audit. The verification process will include a 3rd party auditor assigned by, and paid for by the respective governing authority.
Are future bookings that were prepaid prior to the enactment of the by-law exempt from the Municipal Accommodation Tax?
Yes. Accommodations paid for prior to January 1, 2018 are exempt. Reservations that were not pre-paid by this date are subject to the Municipal Accommodation Tax upon check-in and payment of the lodgings.
What happens with the funds generated through the Municipal Accommodation Tax?
Funds generated through the Municipal Accommodation Tax are invested in sales, marketing, and development activities through Ottawa Tourism, the city’s official destination marketing organization. Ottawa Tourism promotes Ottawa for leisure visitors, meetings and conventions, major events, media relations, tour operators, and travel trade. Ottawa Tourism also invests in long term destination development initiatives aimed at enhancing the visitor experience.
Municipal Accommodation Tax participants are entitled to complimentary membership with Ottawa Tourism in 2018, and have opportunities to become directly involved in various committees that guide the planning and budgeting of the organization.
I am a private property owner who occasionally rents out accommodation to people who are only staying at my property a few days. I don’t consider this a small business as I don’t provide accommodations that often. Do I need to collect the Municipal Accommodation Tax from my guests?
Yes. All short term accommodations are subject to the Municipal Accommodation Tax, including those in private homes. If you are invoicing your guests directly then a 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax must be added to their bill and these funds must be submitted through the collection process operated by the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association. If however, your guests pay for your accommodations using the online home sharing service AirBnB, the service provider will collect the MAT for you beginning August 1, 2018 and submit it on your behalf. If using another online payment system the service provider may collect the MAT for you and remit to you both the rental fee and the MAT. If the latter, it is your responsibility to remit the Municipal Accommodation Tax to the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association. Please contact the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up the submission process.
How do refunds and no shows affect the amount of Municipal Accommodation Tax I remit?
If the Municipal Accommodation Tax was added to an invoice that was paid by a guest, and you subsequently issue a full or partial refund on that accommodation charge, the customer should also be refunded the applicable amount of MAT that corresponds to the refund amount. If the refund occurs after you have remitted the MAT, you can adjust the MAT submission the following month noting the refund in your submission documentation.
If you experience no shows and your policy is to charge a portion of the room rental as a penalty, then the MAT should also be charged to the no show portion. If however, you have a flat administrative fee that is charged for no shows no matter what the room rate, then the MAT does not need to be applied.
Do I need to prepare a monthly report if I did not collect any MAT that month?
Yes, if all of your guests were for extended stay (30 days or longer) or another qualified exemption you must still submit a monthly report providing the details for the exception.