Nearly 27% decline in revenue collected last month

Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) has revealed that the revenue collected by the authority in March decreased by 26.9%.

The statistics published by the authority said the state collected MVR 1.1 billion as tax last month. This is a 26.9 percent decline compared to the same period last year. The amount is also 20.3 percent lower than the tax revenue estimated to be received in March.

MIRA said one of the reasons for the decline in collected revenue is due to the government offices being closed as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. The payments due by the deadline were not collected for this reason, said MIRA. A 11.1% decline in tourist arrivals in February is also a contributing factor, said MIRA.

A large part of the revenue collected by MIRA last month, 57.3% came from GST payments. This is equivalent to MVR 637.67 million. The second largest revenue was generated as tourism land rent, amounting to MVR 131.64 million. This is 11.8% of the total revenue collected in March.

While MVR 81.38 million was collected as BPT, MVR 74.04 million was collected as Green Tax. A further MVR 59.17 million was collected as Airport Development Fee, and other taxes and fees contributed MVR 128.68 million. A US dollar revenue of 49.2 million is also included in the revenue collected last month.

The Maldivian tourism factor was flourishing before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. The archipelago has now suspended issuing visas on arrival, which has effectively stopped the arrival of tourists. Most resorts are not operational, and many are being used to quarantine Maldivians arriving from abroad.

The World Bank has estimated that Maldives will be one of the worst hit countries in the South Asian region as a result of the negative impacts on tourism. 20 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Maldives thus far.