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Friday, June 9, 2017

Hoteliers cry foul over being made ‘tax collectors’

It is unfair to make hotels “tax collectors”, hotel groups said in response to the government’s introduction of a tourism tax.

Malaysian Association of Hotels president Cheah Swee Hee also pointed that only less than 15 per cent or 3,126 of accommodation providers were registered, while 6,452 were unregistered and 11,698 were providers under Airbnb, The Star reported today.

“It is not fair and equitable as it does not appropriately capture all participants in the marketplace nor does it tax equally the participants that are subjected to the tax,” Cheah was quoted as saying in a statement.

In the news report, Malaysian Association of Hotel Owner president Tan Sri Teo Chiang Hong said only 35 to 40 per cent of the occupancy rate was achieved in the industry in the past years.

He added that the implementation of the tourism tax would drive tourists to opt for unregistered hotels that offer cheaper rates.

The groups have reportedly submitted a joint memorandum to the Finance Ministry, Customs Department, and Tourism and Culture Ministry to express their grouses over the tax and its implications.

The new tax will see both domestic and international travelers plying most types of accommodation except homestays, paying an additional levy.

The tax will be in addition to the goods and services tax and service charge.

The rates are RM20 per room per night in five-star premises; RM10 for four-star; RM5 for three to two stars; and RM2.50 for “orchid” and other non-rated accommodation premises.

The tourism tax will be enforced from July 1 instead of August 1 as previously reported, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz clarified yesterday.

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