Monday, June 4, 2018

Hotel Taxes in Peru - SCAM ALERT

Traveling to Peru any time soon? You better read this post if you don't want to overpay your hotel stay!




"Based on local tax laws, Peruvian citizens and foreigners staying more than 59 days in Peru, must pay an additional fee of 18% (IVA and/or VAT). To be exempt from this 18% additional fee your passport must be presented.

This official paragraph is pretty simple to understand. There is an 18% tax that applies to Peruvian citizens and foreigners staying in the country for more than 59 days. This tax law also applies to hotels in Peru.

What is astonishing is the fact that the majority of hotels in Peru add the 18% tax to the room reservation forcing the uninformed traveler to pay for a tax that he doesn't owe. 


Tierra Viva Lima


The Peruvian hotel chain Tierra Viva (https://tierravivahoteles.com/) states during the reservation process: "Rates do not include 18% VAT (sales tax)" That is the only hotel I could find that explains the issue to travelers.



Belmond Hotels (https://www.belmond.com/peru)
does not charge the 18% on their reservation process and doesn't mention it either.



But the majority of  American & European hotel chains and local hotels as well, include the 18% tax as part of the rate, without warning travelers about the law in Peru.

I booked the luxury hotel Tambo del Inka in Urubamba, Sacred Valley (that belongs to SPG/Marriott group that have several hotels in Peru). Let's look at the screenshot of my reservation:



It says "Room Rate Excludes Sale Tax 18% Per Room / Night and Service Charge 10% Per Room / Night" and then it adds to my room total. Recently the hotel added the following to the reservation process:

Tambo Del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado

SPECIAL CONDITIONS


Peruvian Tax Information

Per local tax laws, an 18% tax must be paid by Peruvian citizens and foreigners staying more than 59 days in Peru. To be exempt from this 18% tax (IVA), a guest must present both a valid, original passport and a copy of an immigration card. Guests who are unable to present both documents will be required to pay the tax. All room package reservations are subject to this 18% tax, regardless of a guest’s origin and length of stay.



Doubletree Hilton Lima
That is still a scam in my book. Why room packages must pay the tax and other rates don't?
Why are they requesting the Carta Andina (Immigration Card) since everyone knows that this control was eliminated in Peru?
I contacted the hotel and they informed that the 18% would be removed from my bill after checking my passport. But I think about thousands of tourists that didn't know about the Peruvian law and paid for this tax, without questioning.
                               
 The same applies to the overpriced Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Lima, Best Western, IHC Hotels (Holiday Inn & Crowne Plaza),  the new Hyatt Centric San Isidro that specify the 18% tax as "IGV Peruvian Tax" (although to be fair, they informed after I asked, that the 18% tax would be removed from my bill) and the list goes on and on.


                                    


So beware and don't be afraid to ask about this scam when booking your trip to Peru.

UPDATE: Booking websites like Booking.com and Hotels.com usually don't charge the 18% Peruvian tax, just the 10% service tax.
But always check before booking!


Safe travels everyone! 


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