<p>Tourists riding bull carts travel along a road across an ancient Buddhist temple in Bagan on July 5, 2019. (Photo by Ye Aung THU / AFP)</p>

Myanmar tourism sector asks government to delay tax hike

Travel and tourism companies in Myanmar are asking the government for additional tax relief to tie through the rest of the year. Last week, the Myanmar Travel Association submitted a letter to the Ministry of Planning and Industry seeking an extension of time to furnish required evidence before tax rates on undisclosed sources of income are raised at the start of the new fiscal year on October 1.Under the 2020 Union Tax Law, taxes on undisclosed sources of income of up to K100 million will double to 6 percent. The rates will be raised progressively until a maximum of 30pc on unassessed income above K3 billion.

Many small tourism businesses are unable to furnish the required evidence and documentation on time and are asking for the existing 3pc tax rate to be retained until at least next year. The higher tax rates at this time will place an additional burden on tourism companies which are now unable to operate with overseas travelers banned and domestic tourism at a standstill once again amid a fresh wave of local transmitted COVID-19 cases. Most of the travel and tourism companies are demanding that the government extend the timeline required to furnish the needed documents until next year. Travel companies are in a very tough situation now.

The Internal Revenue Department has been reviewing the income sources of local businesses since August 17 and will continue to do so until September 30. Even though the government has been providing one-year loans at an interest rate of 1pc to the tourism industry under the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP), many have been left out. The Myanmar Tourism Strategic Recovery Roadmap 2021-2025 will be drawn by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism together with the Luxemburg Development Cooperation Agency. Key strategies in the five-year plan include human resource development across the various types of tourism business in Myanmar.

Source: Myanmar Times

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