By virtue of the Hotel Accommodation
Tax Ordinance, Cap 348 (¡§HATO¡¨), Hotel Accommodation Tax (¡§HAT¡¨)
is imposed on hotel and guest house accommodation.
"Hotel" means any establishment, the proprietor of which
holds out to the extent of his accommodation that he will provide,
accommodation to any person presenting himself who is able and willing
to pay a reasonable sum for the services and facilities provided
and is in a fit state to be received.
"Accommodation" means any furnished room or suite of rooms
hired by the proprietor of the hotel to guests, or for the use of
guests, for lodging and includes such furnishings, appliances and
fittings as are normally provided therein.
"Accommodation charge" means the sum payable by or on
behalf of guests for accommodation received.
The Collector of Stamp Revenue
is responsible for the collection of the HAT within fourteen days
after the 30th day of September, the 31st day of December, the 31st
day of March and the 30th day of June in each year, the proprietor
of every hotel shall pay to the Collector the amount of the tax
payable in respect of the three monthly periods ending on those
dates; at the same time the manager of that hotel shall sign and
send to the Collector a return setting out the total amount of accommodation
charges made by the proprietor of the hotel during such period for
which the tax has been paid.
Effective from 1 July 2008, the Government waives
the charge of HAT. The rate of tax is reduced to 0% (the tax rate
was at 3% for the period up to 30 June 2008) on all accommodation
charges paid by the guests.
For the period during which
the rate of HAT is 0%, hotels and guesthouses are not required to
impose HAT on accommodations hired by the guests and they do not
need to file the HAT return to the Collector.
If hotels and guesthouses have
collected the HAT in advance from the guests for accommodations
after 30 June 2008, they must refund the collected HAT to the guests.
Under the HATO,
the HAT is levied at the rate of 0%, with effect from 1 July
2008, (the tax rate was at 3% for period up to 30 June 2008)
on all accommodation charges. Accommodation charge is defined
in the HATO as the sum payable by or on behalf of guests for
accommodation received. Payment can be in the form of money
or money's worth ¡V including any credit, book entry, set off
or any other act by which a debt due to the proprietor of
a hotel for accommodation charges may be discharged.
|Cases in general
In most cases, the accommodation
charge is the agreed price paid by or on behalf of the guest
for the hotel room.
| If the hotel room is provided
to a person in return for a service
If a contract has been
signed by the hotel with a person for providing some services
of a particular value (such as advertising, etc.) in exchange
for the provision of a number of hotel room-nights as stated
in the contract, the HAT is levied on the value as stated
(commonly known as the barter rate).
If no value is stated in
the contract, or if no contract is signed, the HAT is levied
on the average room rate offered to other customers for the
same type of hotel room on the day the hotel room is occupied
by the service provider (or his agent).
If the guest has used cash
coupon(s) issued by the hotel or other entities to settle
the hotel room charge, or part of the hotel room charge, the
value of the cash coupon(s) is subject to the HAT as it is
The normal 10% service charges
added to the room rate are exempt from the HAT. Any additional
service charges (on top of 10%) for services incidental to
the provision of the hotel room (such as newspaper services,
etc.) are part of the accommodation charge for the calculation
of the HAT.
The provisions of the Hotel
Accommodation Tax Ordinance shall not apply to accommodation charges
where the Collector is satisfied that:-
the rate of the
accommodation charge is less than $15 per day;
is provided by society (i.e. any club, company, school, institute,
association or other body of persons by whatever name called)
not established or conducted for profit; or
the hotel contains
less than 10 rooms normally available for lodging guests.
For certain types
of accommodation which have clear characteristics of not being
accommodation provided to "guests", e.g. the 28 days accommodation
referred to in the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation (Exclusion)
Order, we generally accept that they are excluded from the
charge of Hotel Accommodation Tax. However, each case has
to be decided on its own merits.
Tax Inspectors will periodically
carry out inspections at hotels to check on the accommodation charges
paid by guests to ensure that the appropriate amount of tax is paid
by the hotel proprietors.
Where it can be shown to the
satisfaction of the Collector that any accommodation charge has
not been paid to the proprietor of a hotel, the Collector shall
refund the tax paid in respect of that accommodation charge.