MIRA begins collecting Green Tax from tourists

Earlier this year, the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) announced their intention to start collecting a Green Tax of USD 6 daily from all tourists visiting the country. MIRA stated that the Green Tax was introduced as part of the sixth amendment to the Tourism Act, which was ratified on December 17 2014. The Green Tax came into effect at 12:00 a.m. on 1st November 2015.

The Finance Ministry’s proposed budget for this year estimated a Green Tax revenue of MVR 314 million this year, and MVR 1.1 billion next year. According to a statement given by MIRA, the Green Tax will be collected from all tourists at resorts, hotels and tourist cruises, with the exception of guesthouses.

The introduction of the new tax comes 11 months after the abolition of the Bed Tax. In a statement given by MIRA, the Green Tax payment, detailed statement and information sheets are to be submitted to the authorities before the 28th of every month by the taxable properties.

Earlier last October, in an effort to help the parties become more familiar with the new bill, MIRA conducted a series of special activities and programmes, including a briefing seminar on the concept of Green Tax.

The government already charges 12 percent as Tourism Goods and Services Tax (T-GST) and an Airport Service Charge of USD 25 from all departing expatriates.

According to the Green Tax guidelines, ‘Unlike the registration process for GST, resorts, hotels and vessels are not required to submit a separate green tax registration application to us. Instead, the establishment will be automatically registered for green tax from the date on which the Ministry of Tourism issues an operating license to that establishment. Resorts, hotels and vessels already in operation as of 31 October 2015 will also be registered automatically from 1 November 2015.’

The Sixth Amendment to the Maldives Tourism Act is available at http://bit.ly/1Pzq53q. The Green Tax Regulation is available at http://bit.ly/1GMAgdz.