Budget 2023: full tax exemption for tourism operators’ statutory incomes
Part of RM200 million allocation elevate promotion of sector, says finance minister
KUALA LUMPUR – The government has announced 100% tax exemption for statutory incomes – referring to not just monthly salaries but also to commissions, bonuses, allowances and so on – made by tourism operators in Malaysia next year.
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said this shall contribute towards part of the RM200 million allocated for the tourism sector in Budget 2023, mainly to further encourage tourism initiatives, promotions, and marketing.
He said there will also be an excise duty exemption for completely knocked-down vehicles, such as rental cars and tourist buses, used in the sector.
For 2023, the government is expecting over 15 million tourists who will bring in over RM47.6 billion in revenue for the country.
He stressed that the government will focus on high-value tourism, such as niche markets that include eco-tourism, golf, scuba diving, and international conventions.
RM90 million has been allocated for the Galakan Melancong Malaysia grant to promote tourism activities in the country.
“These funds are for promotional campaigns and marketing,” he said.
“A matching grant is also prepared for tourism programmes, including international sporting events,” he added when tabling the Supply Bill 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Zafrul said the government is also prepared to encourage charter travels, mainly from the Middle East and East Asia.
“The government, together with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and international airlines, will work together to prepare new flight routes from the Middle East and Asia, including to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, as well as Penang International Airport,” he said.
Meanwhile, RM10 million will be allocated for upgrading of eco-tourism attractions such as Gua Kelam in Perlis, management of solid waste in Pulau Perhentian, and to intensify activities at Taman Pertanian Jubli Perak Sultan Ahmad Shah, Pahang.
To encourage locals to travel domestically, the government has allocated RM25 million for incentives in forms of discounts, vouchers, and rebates up to RM100 for accommodations, travel packages, and purchase of local handicrafts and arts.
In an effort to promote more local artwork, Zafrul said the government suggests a special tax deduction for hotels that purchase local works of art amounting to up to RM500,000.
He also said to further transform Kuala Lumpur to a hub for creativity and culture, RM10 million will be allocated for ThinkCity, an agency under Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
To make Malaysia the main destination for medical tourism, Zafrul said existing tax incentives for the export of private healthcare services will be extended to 2025.
At the same time, he said the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council will receive an allocation of RM20 million to further strengthen the nation’s position as a medical tourism destination.
source – The Vibes