Airbnb Not Exempted from Tourism Tax

October 12, 2017

Foreigners booking their accommodation via Airbnb will have to pay the RM10 tourism tax – much like foreigners staying at hotels – effectively soothing complaints from the hotel industry.

This comes after Airbnb officials met with local authorities over the tourism tax, said Customs department director-general Subromaniam Tholasy.

With the collection done in a similar mechanism like hotels, Aibnb explained that it had no issues paying the taxes.

“Airbnb wants to pay taxes, and we’ve partnered governments all over the world to make it easier for our hosts and guests to pay their fair share,” said an Airbnb spokesperson.

“In fact, as of May this year, we had agreements with over 275 jurisdictions and collected and paid more than US$240 million (RM1.01 billion) in hotel and tourist taxes.”

“By doing so on behalf of our host community, Airbnb ensures a simple and streamlined process for them, while also lightening the administrative burden for authorities.”

The San Francisco-based property sharing company revealed that it hosts 17,270 active listings in Malaysia, with revenue from Kuala Lumpur alone standing at around RM29 million based on the average occupancy and rental.

The Dewan Rakyat in April tabled the Tourism Tax Bill 2017, which levied a multi-tiered tourism tax on all hotel accommodation within the country, regardless of whether the guests are Malaysians or foreigners.

After receiving much criticism, the government amended the tax in July to impose a flat rate of RM10 per room per night on foreign guests, regardless of the hotel’s star rating, reported Free Malaysia Today.

“With the flat rate, no complex mechanism is needed to collect the taxes,” said Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz.

“The flat rate will make it easier for customs to collect taxes based on the number of rooms booked at a hotel.”


Image sourced from FMT.


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