During a departure procedure on April 2, 2017, at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana, a ticket agent told this reporter, that a departure tax is no longer payable at check-in, he said the fee is now billed into the airline ticket at the time of purchase.
However, Jackie Bailey, a fellow passenger on the same flight, was asked to pay Guy $6,000 — Guy $2,500 as Security Tax, and Guy $3500 Travel tax, because her ticket, was purchased before Feb. 1, when the new measure took effect.
Bailey told this reporter, she was asked to pay the fee at the ticket counter and was later shocked when she learned that many other passengers did not have to pay the same fee, a faux pas by the airline who should inform passengers about the new measure that took effect on Feb. 1, 2017.
Passengers, as recent as January 2017, were required to pay the Guy $6000 at a tax booth just after check-in, and before proceeding through Customs and Immigration.
The National Assembly passed amendments to the Tax Act Cap 80:01 addressing Travel Tax, that Minister of Finance Winston Jordan put forward to allow airlines to add the departure tax to a ticket.
According to Kaieteur News, the amendment was made to Section 56 of the Act, which authorizes the Commissioner-General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to appoint agents to collect travel tax for the commissioner.
Travel agents who fail to remit travel tax to the commissioner-general or a carrier which fails to remit travel tax to an agent or the commissioner-general would be liable to a penalty.
The tax can either be collected by an airline or a collection agent instead of it being paid to a booth at the two airports, according to Minister Jordan.
The commissioner general spoke with airlines and collection agents to conduct the new procedure.
Minister Jordan added that Guyana maybe the last county in the Caribbean region where persons were required to pay departure tax at a booth.
He stated that Guyana has been way behind in making these changes, adding that just before passengers proceed to the immigration department at the (CJIA), they had to stop at the tax booth where they were required to pay and receive a ticket.
Passengers should check with travel agents and travel sites for further information when booking flights in and out of Guyana.