Registration and collection of tourist tax by online booking operators for postponed accommodation premises

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (‘RMCD‘) announced on September 30, 2021 that the Minister of Finance has agreed to postpone the implementation of the imposition of the tourist tax on accommodation premises reserved through digital platform service providers (‘RPDB‘), like Airbnb, Hotels.com and Booking.com.

The key points of the RMCD announcement are as follows:

  1. The effective date for DPSP to register with the Director General of Customs and Excise of Malaysia for the purpose of collecting and paying tourist tax under the Tourism Tax Act 2017 has been postponed from October 1, 2021 to October 1, 2022;
  2. The date of entry into force of the imposition and levy of the tourist tax on accommodation premises reserved via the DPSPs has been postponed from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023; and
  3. The new dates of entry into force of the following subsidiary legislation (or its specific provisions) are as follows:
  • Decree on tourist tax (tax rate for digital platform service providers) 2021 – January 1, 2023;
  • Tourism tax (digital platform service provider tax rate) (exemption) Decree 2021 – January 1, 2023; and
  • Tourist Tax (Digital Platform Service Provider) Regulation 2021 – Parts II and V and Regulations 16 and 17 – October 1, 2022; and Parts III, IV and VI (except regulations 16 and 17) – January 1, 2023.

Deferring the imposition of the tourist tax on accommodation premises booked through DPSP may be a measure to help domestic accommodation providers by reducing the costs for foreign tourists to visit Malaysia. The move is in line with a statement by the Minister of Finance that the Malaysian government will focus on several sectors hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, including tourism, in the 2022 Malaysian budget.1 to be announced on October 29, 2021.

This is the second time that the Malaysian government has postponed the imposition of the tourist tax on accommodation premises booked through DPSP.

Our previous article on the imposition of the tourist tax on accommodation premises booked via the RPDB is available here.

Comments are closed.