Tourism Tax will still begin on July 1, says Nazri

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz stressed that the implementation of the Tourism Tax (TTx) will begin on July 1 this year.

He also debunk claims that the TTx cannot be implemented as it's still haven't been gazetted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V.

"The supreme power to implement laws is the parliament.

"According to the procedure, when parliament has passed any bill, it will be automatically gazetted.

"It is true that the law has not been gazetted, but to those Malaysians who doesn't understand the law here, the law will automatically be gazetted in 30 days, even if it is not signed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," Mohamed Nazri said during a press conference after he launched the Perfect China Incentive Seminar 2017 Dinner held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here.

Mohamed Nazri added even the Customs Department has no authority to overrule the lawmakers decision as the latter is merely a "enforcement agency" to the government.

He added the Customs will start to collect the TTx on July 1 and not August 1 as mentioned by the latter.

"You have to ask me because i am the Minister in charge. The customs is only an enforcement agency.

"So starting July 1, we will start to collect (the TTx) from those who are in our data," he said.

The TTx is regulated by the Finance Ministry and the Customs Department.

The tax is charged at a specific rate on tourists staying at any accommodation premises provided by an operator of accommodation premises where it has been registered under subsection 31C (1) Tourism Industry Act 1992.

The TTx rate is fixed at RM20 per room per night (five-star), RM10 per room per night (four-star), RM5 per room per night (one-, two- and three-star), RM2.50 per room per night (one, two and three Orchid) and RM2.50 per room per night (non-rated accommodation premises).

However, tax exemption is available for "homestay" registered with Ministry of Tourism and Culture (Motac), "kampung stay" registered with Motac, accommodation premises established and maintained by religious institutions not for commercial purposes or accommodation premises with less than 10 rooms.

The TTx is mandatory for both local and international tourist visiting any place in Malaysia for purposes including recreation or holiday, culture, religion, visiting friends or relatives, sports, business, meetings, conferences, seminars or conventions, studies or research, any other purpose which is not related to an occupation that is remunerated from the place visited.