GRA cancels VAT on airfares for interior locations

first_imgThe Government of Guyana has inked an agreement with the Air Services Limited which will reverse its 2017 decision to impose taxes on flights to interior locations.The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) in a public notice said it, “wishes to advise air service operators that no VAT shall be charged on airfares to transport passengers or goods to/from airstrips listed below”.A few of the 54 listed locations are located in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo). They include Achiwib, Aishalton, Annai, Baramita, Chenpau, Dadanawa, Iwokrama, Kamarang, Kato, Monkey Mountain, Orinduik, Paramakatoi and Waramadong.Although the notice did not inform when the new decision takes effect and when it was made, it pointed out that, “Pursuant to the Agreement, VAT is also exempt from airfares to transport passengers or goods to any other rural airstrip, provided that satisfactory evidence is submitted to the company that the passenger is living in the rural area”.Effective from February 1, 2017, the Government had implemented a 14 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on local airfares.This move was highly criticised by locals from all walks of life.On Saturday, this publication contacted Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Roraima Airways Inc Captain Gouveia, who also serves as Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) on the matter.Gouveia said he was unaware that the taxes had been removed but lauded the change. He said, “As far as I know the Government introduced taxes on interior flights and that is still functioning today. I don’t know of any agreement to waive it [but] I think it will be a good thing”.The PSC Chair further explained, “I think interior development is very very crucial and the Government got to be able to contribute to make air transportation affordable and accessible to all of the people in the hinterland and so putting taxes on interior flights is actually a big deterrent to Hinterland development”.He said he is happy to learn that the Government finally decided to review their decision in this regard given that prior to their decision there was never VAT on Interior flights.“Since they introduced VAT and start charging VAT on hinterland flights and Kaieteur flights for example when you take people to Kaieteur Falls now there is 14 per cent on Kaieteur flights which is crazy but it is what the Government decided to do,” he posited.Nevertheless, Gouveia pointed out that he welcomes this move regardless of if it is implemented at present or in the months to come.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *