Among the many expenses that must be considered when organizing a trip, whether for business or pleasure, is the so-called hotel tax or lodging tax, which is nothing more than a tax that the authority of the selected destination applies to the tourist for the simple fact of spending the night in a room service, and whose collection can be used for various purposes, from promoting the tourism industry to finance the beautification of public places.

 

So, what if I want to avoid this tax?

The law says that they are extensive VAT:

– Tourist services sold under the modality of tourist plans or packages by the operating agencies

– The hotel services provided by the hotels registered in the National Registry of Tourism

“Services exempted from sales tax are considered hotel services sold by hotels to operating agencies, provided that the beneficiary of the services provided in the national territory is a resident abroad.”

 

How can I book a hotel in Medellin?

Through Booking.com and Despegar.com you can make your reservation. In order for the hotels to be able to carry out the VAT exemption you have to present your passport with the current stamp of entry to the country, with this no hotel should charge you the VAT and keep the services they give to any client: breakfast, internet, hotel insurance and others.

Is there a special requirement to be able to dodge this tax?

The only requirement to be exempt from the VAT of the accommodation is with the stamp that you put in your passport. The stamp must be PIP5 or TP11. Any other number that they mark in the passport or if they do not mark any they must pay the VAT.

The only people exempt from VAT are those who enter the country exclusively as tourists. If they come for work, or some convention or for any reason other than tourism, they pay VAT.

Many times there are guests who say they go sightseeing but in the Migration Department they mark the wrong stamp. In the hotels, nothing can be done about it, because by law a copy of all passports must be made with their respective stamp in order to justify to the government why these taxes are not being paid.

If this cannot be justified with the stamp of the passport, the VAT will have to assume the same hotel or in the worst case the receptionist who has not charged. So it’s very important to be aware of the seal.