Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) yesterday declared that the authority would not hesitate to execute its legal responsibility against tourist resorts that have failed to pay rents and fines.
The authority’s comments followed an announcement by the Tourism Ministry on Wednesday that it would not execute a cabinet decision to revoke permits of resorts that fail to pay 25 percent of their dues by July 20.
Commissioner General of Taxation Mohamed Yazeed revealed that MIRA had already taken six resorts to court over late rent payments and dodged fines.
“Although the Tourism Ministry doesn’t take any action MIRA will carry out the legal responsibility assigned to it. We will not fall back even a step,” he said.
Haveeru has learned that out of the 90 resorts paying rent, some have shown indications of not paying at all.
Resorts sued by MIRA include Filitheyo Island Resort Medhafushi that has the stakes of ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Hamza and President Mohamed Nasheed’s Economic Advisor Ali Shiyam, Hamza’s brother Moosa Shiyam’s Zitahli Resort and Spa, Giraavaru Tourist Resort owned by Abdu Rauf of Maafannu Snow Rose, Athama Marine International’s Kihadhuffaru Resort and Funamauddua Resort (Huvandhumafushi) owned by Yacht Tours Chairman Abdulla Jabir who is running for MDP Chairperson.
MIRA also plans to take Jabir’s Kuda Rah Resort and Alidhoo Resort to court.
Haveeru understands that Alidhoo Island Resort and Kuda Rah Island Resort owe the government $792, 042.12 and $759,636.38 respectively while Funamaudua Resort in Gaaf Alif atoll has paid 25 percent of the $1,241,226. 20 25 it owed.
Filitheyo Island Resort owes $2,563,509. 01 in rent and fine as of July 5 while Medhufushi Island Resort owes $3,431,328.44 and Zitahli Resorts and Spa owes $669,604.72.
Alila Villas Hadaha Maldives (now Park Hyatt) run by Driftwood Maldives has paid the rent out of the $200,833.33 it owed while Giraavaru Island Resort owes $2,519,276.98.
Kihadhuhfaru Island Resort has $1,471,221.90 due in payments and Olhuveli Island Resort has paid 50 percent of the rent out of $4,751,511.11.
MIRA is also seeking $265,054.93 as rent and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) payments from Galaxy Enterprises that manages Nasandhura Palace Hotel. The authority earlier won a lawsuit against the company obtaining a court order to complete the payments within a month. So far 25 percent of the payments have been made, according to MIRA.