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BOI raises concern on BIR delay for tourism perks

By Louella D. Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 20, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Board of Investments (BOI) has raised concern over the delay in the release of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s revenue regulations to provide incentives to tourism investments under the Tourism Act as the government encourages tourism activities and projects in the country.

“That is a concern. I think there is a general concern (because) that is a law. That is a congressional act,” BOI managing head Adrian Cristobal Jr. told reporters yesterday.

Under Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009 approved by then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, tourism economic zones (TEZ) will be created in which tourism projects or locators can enjoy incentives.

To avail of incentives, tourism enterprises within a TEZ will have to register with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism.

Among the incentives tourism enterprises within a TEZ can enjoy are income tax holidays; gross income taxation of five percent; 100 percent exemption on all taxes and customs duties on the importation of capital equipment; and the exemption of transportation and spare parts from tariffs and duties.

The grant of incentives, however, requires release of revenue regulations by the BIR.

Earlier, the Tourism Promotion Board (TPB) also expressed concern in the delay of release of the BIR revenue regulations which should facilitate the grant of incentives under the law.

The TPB is encouraging firms to make investments in tourism projects in the country and there is interest from companies to invest.

Cristobal said the BOI could accept applications for tourism establishments outside the TEZs.

Tourism is among the sectors being promoted by the BOI for investments.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which previously provided incentives to tourism establishments within its administered ecozones meanwhile, has stopped approval of registration of such projects.

The TPB said since the Tourism Act was passed, tourism investments should be under the TIEZA.

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