Before tourism tax in Malaysia, tax plans still ambiguous

Published on : Wednesday, July 26, 2017

tourism taxWith few days to go until the new tourism tax supposedly comes into effect from August 1, the Malaysian trade is still none the wiser about the tax collection procedures without further information from the government.

Operators of accommodation premises are required to be registered 30 days before the starting of the tourism tax; however, registration mechanics are still not made known to the hoteliers.

The three major hotel associations in Malaysia – namely the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO) and Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA) – had earlier called for a discussion with the Finance Ministry, Royal Malaysian Customs Department and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, but their request wasn’t answered.

To quote Shaharuddin M Saaid, MAHO executive director, “We have not received any acknowledgement in writing from the chief secretary’s office. But a third party has informed us that the prime minister’s office has instructed the Ministry of Finance office to follow up with a meeting. We will take the initiative and contact the Finance Ministry this week and try and set up a meeting, rather than we wait for them to call us.”

Shaharuddin added, “We also wish to bring up our proposal that the tourism tax be collected at the airports and borders instead. The government will not have to deal with issues relating to registration of accommodation premises, unlicensed operators of accommodation premises and you just have to charge one tax amount for all tourists.”

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