MIRA to accept all payments except tourism taxes in rufiya

All payments to the state except tourism-related taxes will henceforth be accepted only in Dhivehi rufiya, the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) announced today.

On August 9, the cabinet decided that all fees and payments to the government must be paid in local currency, in a bid to alleviate an acute dollar shortage in the Maldivian economy.

According to a press statement issued by MIRA, Commissioner General of Taxation Yazeed Mohamed said today that the authority was in the process of implementing a directive from the Finance Ministry to enforce the cabinet’s decision.

Discussions were taking place with concerned authorities to finalise administrative matters to collect payments in rufiyaa, MIRA said in its statement.

“Efforts are underway in collaboration with the Finance Ministry to amend the Tourism Goods and Service Tax (T-GST) Act and Tourism Act to accept T-GST, tourism tax, lease rent/land rent and fee for extending resort lease period in Dhivehi rufiya,” MIRA said, adding that once the amendments were brought, the tourism taxes would be collected in local rufiyaa starting from next month.

The MIRA press release stated that “the authority regrets” media reports claiming that MIRA was ordered to accept payments only in US dollars from August 13 onward as “we believe the news reports were misleading regarding MIRA’s efforts in this matter.”

Local media reports last week suggested a dispute between MIRA and the Finance Ministry over the cabinet decision.