the TOMSA levy

Levy FAQ

1.

What is the Tourism Levy?

The tourism levy, also referred to as TOMSA, is the 1% charge paid by tourists for the use of specific travel and tourism services in South Africa.

2.

Why is the Tourism Levy charged?

The levy is a means to enable business in the local travel and tourism industry to plough back into the industry and support the promotion of destination South Africa locally and internationally.

3.

Which tourist services get the levy?

• Accommodation sector: percentage charged on the room-rate
• Tour Operators: specific rate per person, per tour
• Car Rental: percentage charged per car rental
• Travel Agency sector: percentage charged on service fee locally and internationally.

4.

Who pays the tourism levy?

The tourist, as the consumer of these specific tourism services pays the levy. As such in this way, they are also contributing to the growth and promotion of the local travel and industry locally and internationally.

5.

What role does the tourism business play with regards to the levy?

Tourism businesses play a critical role in the collection of the levy. As the supplier of tourism services, they also act as the main conduit between the tourist who consumes these services and the administrators of the tourism levy.

On a monthly basis, tourism business consolidates all levies collected and pays the funds over to the levy administ

6.

Is it compulsory for my business to collect the tourism levy?

Whilst many countries around the world charge a compulsory tourism tax which can be steep, what makes the tourism levy unique is that it operates on a voluntary system.

The tourism levy does not constitute a tax. Levy collectors have made a conscious decision to support the industry as a collective to raise the profile of destination SA and contribute to the industry’s growth and development through the tourism levy. However, it is compulsory for every tourist/traveler to pay the levy at all places where the levy is collected.

7.

What is the TBCSA?

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is an umbrella organisation which represents organised businesses in the local travel and tourism industry. It is the collecting agent for all levies collected by business from the various sectors and ensures that levies collected are further distributed to the relevant initiatives.

8.

What is the money used for?

The main aim of the tourism levy is to create, build and maintain awareness of South Africa as a top tourist destination through generic marketing campaigns aimed at well-researched target markets. The levy is not intended to benefit a specific region or organisation but keeps South Africa on the global travel and tourism map.

Some organisations might not see the direct link between the Tourism levy and visitors, but if it was not for the levy its direct impact on businesses will be felt immediately. South Africa will slowly fade away as a must see destination. Monthly basis, tourism business consolidates all levies collected and pays the funds over to the levy administ

9.

Is it compulsory for my business to collect the tourism levy?

Whilst many countries around the world charge a compulsory tourism tax which can be steep, what makes the tourism levy unique is that it operates on a voluntary system.

The tourism levy does not constitute a tax. Levy collectors have made a conscious decision to support the industry as a collective to raise the profile of destination SA and contribute to the industry’s growth and development through the tourism levy. However, it is compulsory for every tourist/traveler to pay the levy at all places where the levy is collected.

10.

How are the businesses assured that the levies collected are used for its intended purpose?

The relationship between the TBCSA and South African Tourism, with respect to the collection of levies is regulated by a threeyear Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Through this MOU,
there is a commitment from both parties as to the collection, management and usage of levies collected. The MOU ensures that South African Tourism and TBCSA Executives meet regularly to discuss TOMSA and industry related matters.

11.

When do I pay the tourism levy to TOMSA?

As per the TOMSA agreement, payments must be made on a monthly basis and no later than 15 days following the last day of the accounting month.

12.

What should the
payment reference be?

It is critical to use the correct reference number when making a payment or you might encounter problems when the reference number is not accepted. Every levy collector receives a Unique Account Number. The
reference number FOR PAYMENT is your account number and consists of 1 letter and 3 numbers. Always use the trading name of the establishment and not the name of the holding company

13.

Why can’t I receive an invoice before I make a payment as with most other services/ purchases/ payments?

TOMSA does not operate like most organisations. The amount you pay to TOMSA will never be the same for each month. It depends on your own occupancies and services provided. We cannot provide you with an invoice beforehand as we simply do not know how much the organisation collected the levy during a specific month. A tax invoice will be sent to the collector after each payment has been received. This tax Invoice is an acknowledgment of the receipt of the tourism levy payment.

14.

Why can’t I use the money for my own purpose?

The money is collected from the guest, therefore prohibits the organisation from keeping the TOMSA levy collected. Not paying over the TOMSA levies constitutes as fraud. The guest agrees to pay the levy based on the understanding and agreement between the establishment and TOMSA – that the money will be spent on the generic marketing of destination South Africa only.

If you still dont have answers to your questions after reading the above FAQ's, just drop the team a mail and we will get back to you.

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