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Latest Tourism Act amendment intervene Green Tax levy

Mohamed Rehan
03 August 2022, MVT 11:28
Tourist arrivals at the main aviation gateway venue; new amendment to the Tourism Act intervenes Green Tax collection-- Photo: Mihaaru
Mohamed Rehan
03 August 2022, MVT 11:28

The most recent amendment to the Maldives Tourism Act has intervened levy of Green Tax.

This hindrance rose from a provision dictating the date of effect.

The 11th amendment to the Tourism Act passed by Maldives Parliament on June 30, and ratified by the President on July 3, states the effective date for Green Tax collection is January 1, 2023.

Legal experts claim that the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) can no longer enforce levying Green Tax on tourist properties until the date of effect.

Green Tax came to implementation on November 1, 2015.

The legal barricade has come to light when tourist properties are expected to settle green taxes before August 31.

The main motive for the latest amendment of the Tourism Act was to incorporate local tourism establishments, especially guesthouses for Green Tax liability.

The amendment includes tourist resorts, hotels, tourist vessels and boutique hotels in excess of 50 rooms situated in residential islands being subject to green tax.

Under the Act, tourism establishments must pay USD 6 per head per day in green tax.

Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) has confirmed learning about the legal intervention under the new amendment, which the authority claims has been lodged with the Ministry of Tourism for revision.

The authority also affirms of committing to the Tourism Act.

MIRA is expected to instruct relevant bodies about the next plan of action following the issue arising with the amendment.

Local attorney firm, S & A Lawyers identify the amendment as a complete roadblock on green tax collection effective from the date of ratification until the end of 2022.

"Green tax collected during the period, is a legal breach in accordance with Section 35 (g) and (h) of the act," the law firm said in a statement.

The most recent statistics from MIRA confirm a cumulative total of MVR 547 million collected in green tax as of June 2022.

Should the particulars of the provision in the new amendment remain intact, Maldives government is facing at a loss of MVR 600 million for the current year.

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