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Portugal Urged To Reverse Mounting Taxes On Tourists

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

30 May 2017


Portuguese restauranteurs and hoteliers are calling for the repeal of the growing number of taxes being levied on tourists.

Capital city Lisbon and Cascais were the first municipalities in the country to introduce tourism taxes. Other municipalities such, as Porto and Vila Real de Santo Antonio, are also "discreetly" starting to tax tourists, Portugal's hotel and restaurant association, AHRESP, said.

Lisbon introduced a EUR1 (USD1.12) tax on tourists entering the city by air or boat and a EUR1 charge for each night spent in the city in 2016.

AHRESP warned that these taxes could destroy the country's lucrative tourism sector. It added that the flat rate on hotel stays, with an equal rate for five-star hotels as for cheaper accommodation, was an "injustice." The organization also criticized the inconsistent way in which tourist taxes are applied by different municipalities across the country and said the industry should not be responsible for the administration of taxes that are not reinvested into the sector.

While the number of provincial taxes on the industry is said to be growing, Portugal offers a reduced rate value-added tax on hotel accommodation of six percent.

TAGS: individuals | tax | value added tax (VAT) | Portugal | travel and tourism | tax rates

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