In Guatemala, Congress is discussing a bill that seeks to increase the arrival of flights to the country through tax incentives for airlines, which would be coupled with the elimination of improper tax charges.

On August 14, 2019, the President of the Legislative Branch, Álvaro Arzú Escobar, presented to Congress initiative 5585, which has the support of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) and the Guatemalan Association of Air Lines (AGLA).

In the opinion of the entities that support the bill, with the application of the proposed changes, it will be possible to adapt the international methods for calculating the amount of rent and thus not tax the sector with taxes, fines and interest that are considered inappropriate.

Peter Cerdá, IATA regional vice-president for the Americas, explained to Prensalibre.com that “… while initiative 5585 is being discussed in Congress, administrative processes have been initiated whose conclusions contradict the aforementioned criteria and resolve the payment of taxes, fines and interest in amounts that make the operations of our members in Guatemala unsustainable. Because of the impact on our members, we have, as an industry, approached several instances of the Guatemalan government in order to expose the issue in question. These have achieved, among other things, the generation of bill 5585 that is currently in Congress to convert it into law.

If the double taxation referred to by aviation authorities is eliminated, Guatemala would have the opportunity to sign 22 air transport agreements.

Official figures detail that in the first half of 2019 in the country registered the entry of 1.29 million visitors, a figure that exceeds 7% reported in the same period of 2018.