The Commission of Economy of the Congress approved this June 8 a opinion that reduces the payment of the general sales tax (IGV) for micro and small businesses (mypes) related to tourism and restaurants. This project is still waiting to be debated and voted on in the Plenary of Congress.
This proposal provides that businesses in hospitalityrestaurants, Tourist accommodation, catering and food dealers pay 8% VAT, and not the 18% that are currently affected. The project indicates that they seek to reactivate this sector of the economy, in the sense of “making survival viable and avoiding the closure of these activities.”
Would the VAT reduction be favorable for the tourism sector?
The president of the National Chamber of Tourism of Peru (Canatur), Carlos Canales, welcomed this legislative proposal. “I think the project understands the problem. It helps to partially resolve the serious situation in which the tourist industry”, he pointed out to The Republic. However, the initial proposal of this guild was to exonerate for three years the VAT payment to tourism companies.
For her part, the president of the Peruvian Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Related (Now Peru), Blanca Chávez, indicated that approving this project “would be the best thing to raise not only restaurants, but in general to the tourism sector”. Chávez stressed that, due to the pandemic, more than 100,000 restaurants have closed.
“The measure is correct because, although it is true that there are other sectors that will not benefit from this type of reduction in rates, it must be taken into account that the tourism has been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic”, said the tax attorney Miguel Carrillo.
Could this measure generate less tax collection?
On the other hand, one might think that a rule of this type would generate a setback in the tax collection from the country. In the explanatory statement of the initial project, presented in November 2021, it is indicated that the tourism sector contributes only 1.6% of the entire perception of National VAT. “Practically, they do not generate a high impact on collection,” says Miguel Carrillo, for which he described this measure as “correct.”
“The Congress of the Republic is looking for a balance point so as not to affect the fiscal box. That 8% VAT it is the one that would avoid looking for IGV returns at the end of the year”, the Canatur representative specified. In that sense, he maintained that some 100,000 companies would benefit, although travel agencies would still need to be included.
The main advantage of limiting VAT to 8% for SMEs in the sector is that the final price for visitors would also be reduced, says Carlos Canales. “If the prices are reduced, it will be more attractive for the national tourist, who is mobilizing today. that way we can be more competitive and be able to double domestic tourism”, he indicated.
According to Canatur estimates, they could reach 35 million travelers towards the end of this year in a favorable situation, while the pre-pandemic figures were around 48 million tourists. “We have to be absolutely realistic: receptive tourism will not be regularized for two years – if we work well -“, considered the union leader.
Operators ask for rules to reactivate domestic tourism
Edgar Tito, tour operator in the city of Cusco, considers that the Government It should promote financial credits for the mypes of its sector. Likewise, campaigns could be considered to facilitate domestic tourism, since the flow of tourists remains at 70% of the time before COVID-19. This is in opposition to the 30% or 40% of foreign visitors that Tito has currently registered in his daily activity.
The president of Canatur also emphasized the need to reactivate domestic tourism. “Injecting resources into the population through vouchers that allow you to travel and be able to have subsidies of up to 50% people who go to the interior of the country”, he indicated.
In addition to the VAT reduction, for Blanca Chávez, president of Now Peru, the authorities must generate stability in the markets. “(It is necessary) that the Government does not take measures again from one moment to another, unexpected measures,” she remarked. “For example, one day at 11 at night they said ‘it closes the next day, total immobilization,'” rejected the representative of the tourist and restaurant businessmen.