Hotel Industry wants taxes scrapped

16May 2018
Edward Qorro
The Guardian
Hotel Industry wants taxes scrapped

Hotels Association of Tanzania is calling on the government to scrap off what they call nuisance taxes if the hotel industry is to grow and contribute to the growth of the country’s economy.

HAT Chief Executive Officer Nura-Lisa Karamagi

The players in the industry claim that the TRA’s assertion that it would streamline the taxes imposed on them was not forthcoming and that the taxes were impacting negatively on the sector.

In an interview with The Guardian yesterday, HAT Chief Executive Officer Nura-Lisa Karamagi said the cost of tax compliance for her members was now becoming a burden.

“The bone of contention still remains the number of taxes we are levied. As a matter of fact, it is difficult for our businesses to operate smoothly when are we are slapped with numerous taxes,” she asserted.

Hotel and lodges are subjected to a total of 63 different taxes, according to Karamagi.

She said that her members are times ‘bombarded’ with irrelevant taxes from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) and fire department officials.

“They bring us invoices when they have not even inspected our premises,” she alleged.

Speaking in Arusha earlier Monday while opening a four-day joint seminar between Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and operators in the tourism sector, TRA Commissioner General Charles Kichere assured players in the tourism sector that his office will in the near future introduce a single window system that will help address the problem of multiple taxes.

However, according to the HAT boss, the promise by the taxman was long overdue and it was hurting businesses.

She maintained that the multiple taxes and levies, incoherent policies, institutions and regulations continue to impact negatively on the business environment, which in turn hinders investment and growth of the industry.