VAT tax re­turns rise over 51 pct in Septem­ber

In­crease in re­im­burse­ment at­trib­uted to rise in tourists from Gulf

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - BUSINESS -

BEIRUT: VAT tax re­turns reg­is­tered an in­crease of 51.39 per­cent in the first 12 days of Septem­ber, re­flect­ing a surge in the num­ber of Arab Gulf tourists who pur­chased items from Le­banon.

The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Global Blue, the com­pany which was des­ig­nated by the Fi­nance Min­istry to re­im­burse the value added tax pur­chases to tourists in Le­banon, said the con­sumer tax re­turn in the first 12 days of Septem­ber 2017 jumped by 51.39 per­cent, adding that the bulk of the tourists re­im­bursed were from Saudi Ara­bia, Kuwait, Qatar and United Arab Emi­rates.

Joe Yaqoub said th­ese statis­tics were the high­est recorded in Le­banon over the past three years.

Talk­ing to the Cen­tral News Agency, Yaqoub said most of th­ese vis­i­tors came to Le­banon dur­ing Eid al-Adha.

“In light of th­ese statis­tics, I ex­pect that the num­ber of Arab tourists till the end of Septem­ber to rise sub­stan­tially. Most of those who pur­chased clothes and gar­ments from Le­banon are from the Gulf states. This il­lus­trates the pro­jec­tion of the tourism min­is­ter that the num­ber of tourists to Le­banon would be close to 2 mil­lion,” he added.

The last time Le­banon saw such a sig­nif­i­cant surge in the num­ber of Arab tourists were in 2009 and 2010.

Yaqoub said Arab tourists in 2010 gen­er­ated rev­enues of over $7 bil­lion for the tourism sec­tor.

Only tourists are re­im­bursed the VAT on pur­chases in Le­banon in a bid to boost the tourism in­dus­try.

Le­banese of­fi­cials hope that the po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity sta­bil­ity would lure back the Arab tourists to Le­banon af­ter years of boy­cott.

‘I ex­pect the num­ber of Arab tourists ... to rise sub­stan­tially’

Le­banon has passed a bill to in­crease VAT taxes from 10 to 11 per­cent as part of ef­forts to fi­nance the salary scale for civil ser­vants and pub­lic school teach­ers.

But the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new tax pack­age was sus­pended by the Con­sti­tu­tional Coun­cil af­ter a num­ber of law­mak­ers sent a let­ter to the coun­cil, urg­ing it to freeze the taxes which they de­scribed as un­fair.

The coun­cil is ex­pected to is­sue its fi­nal ver­dict on th­ese taxes on Sept. 15. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lebanon

© PressReader. All rights reserved.