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Tax Benefits to Tourism Industry
July, 31st 2015

The Tourism Industry has requested the Government of India for the following fiscal benefits including tax rebate and relaxations:

i. Inclusion of tourism infrastructure like hotels/resorts/tourist lodges/banquet halls/convention and exhibition centres etc. for benefits of Section 32 AC of Income Tax Act 1961 by lowering the minimum threshold investment limit to Rs.5.00 crores.

ii. Extension of benefits under Section 35 AD of Income Tax Act 1961 to business concerns who are making capital investment in setting up of smaller category of hotels/guest houses/dharamsalas/tourist hostels/motels/wellness facilities/medical facilities and other associated infrastructure like installation of house boats/ adventure and leisure tourism facilities.

iii. Weighted deduction of 200% in line with Research & Development sectors in India for expenditure incurred towards marketing and promotional activities of the country as inbound tourism destination.

iv Establishment of special tourism zones in India.

v. Lower withholding of tax and interest paid to foreign banks or financial institutions for loan taken in tourism sector.

vi. Deduction in respect of profit and gains from taxable income for business of hotels, convention centres and other tourism specific infrastructure.

vii. Foreign exchange earning linked deduction on profits for Income Tax computation.

viii. Exemption on Service Tax from Heritage Hotels and Heritage Trains.

ix. Exemption on Service Tax on room tariff to be increased.

x. Service Tax to be exempted for unit to be set up within special tourism zones.

xi. Exemption on Service Tax on all the incidental activities or services like hotel stay, Rent a Cab, Tour Operators etc. if the main event is exempted by Government from the ambit of Service Tax.

xii. Extend CENVAT credit on the entire tourism components of Travel intermediaries on abated value (tour operators, travel agents, rent a cab operators) as against just on the same line of business.

In order to ascertain the incidence of high taxations on tourism sector and its impact in making Indian tourism industry products un-compatible, a study on Taxes levied on tourism sector vis-?-vis Export sector has been conducted, and the findings of the study have been shared with the stakeholders

This information was given by The Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in reply to a starred question in the Rajya Sabha today.

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