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Posts Tagged ‘Taxes in Thailand’

3rd October 2017

It recently came to the attention of the administration of this web log that the Royal Thai Gazette has recently published an announcement regarding changes to the methodology in which Value Added Tax (VAT) is calculated in Thailand. Below please find an English translation of this announcement:

Page 6

Book 134 Part 102 Kor                         Royal Thai Government Gazette                  2 October 2017

(Official Emblem)

ROYAL DECREE

Issued under the Revenue Code

Regarding Value Added Tax Rate Reduction (No. 646)

B.E.2560 (2017)

————————————-

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun,

Given on 30 September 2017

of the second year in the present reign.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun is graciously pleased to proclaim that:

Whereas it is appropriate to adjust the Value Added Tax Rate Reduction.

By virtue of Section 175 of Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand and Section 80 of the Revenue Code which amended by Revenue Code Amendment Act (No. 30) B.E. 2534 (1991) Be it; therefore, enacted by His Majesty the King, as follows:

Section 1. This Royal Decree shall be called the “Royal Decree under the Revenue Code, regarding Value Added Tax Rate Reduction (No. 646) B.E.2560 (2017)”

Section 2. This Royal Decree shall come into force on and from the date of 1st October B.E.2560 (2017).

Section 3. The order of the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order No. 65/2559 on the Reduction of Value Added Tax Rate dated on 1st November B.E.2559 (2016) shall be repealed.

Section 4. There shall be reduced the Value Added Tax Rate in accordance with Section 80 of the Revenue Code and shall withhold at the following details;

(1) In the rate of 6.3 percent of sale, service or import in all kind thereof which shall be effective from the date of 1st October B.E.2560 (2017) to 30th September B.E.2561 (2018).

(2) In the rate of 9 percent of sale, service or import in all kind thereof which shall be effective on and from the date of 1st October B.E.2561 (2018).

Section 5. The Minister of Finance shall have the care and charge of this Royal Decree.

Countersigned

Colonel-General Prayut Chan-o-cha

Prime Minister

 

For those interested in viewing the Thai version of the original announcement please click HERE to go to the view the PDF from official website of the Royal Thai Gazette. Please note that this translation is provided for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as a definitive legal interpretation of Thai law.

Two provisions are notable within this announcement, the first is that the VAT is to be lowered from 7% to 6.3% for the next year. Meanwhile, from October of 2018 onward the effective VAT tax rate is apparently to be 9%. This is an overall increase from the current rate of 7% which was the rate prior to the recent announcement.

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4th June 2016

In recent weeks the Bangkok Post has reported on a great many changes that are currently being undertaken by officials in the Thai government. In fact, it appears that the judicial system in Thailand has been the subject of rather drastic reform in recent years. To quote directly from an article posted on the Bangkok Post official website on May 18th:

Up to 35 laws concerning judicial affairs have been amended over the past two years…Of the 35 laws amended in the past two years, 11 have come into effect, he said. They are the land transport act; the bankruptcy act, the act on prevention and suppression of terrorism financing; the the anti-money laundering act; the justice fund act; the ministerial, departmental, and divisional improvement act; the act on amendments of the Civil Procedure Code. Also on the list are the act on the procedure of suspect detentions under the 1963 and the 2016 versions of the Criminal Code…

The reforms noted above have only been implemented relatively recently so it may take some time before the effects of these measures can be readily ascertained. At the same time, measures have been put in place in an attempt to thwart transnational criminals in the form of protocol changes regarding the sharing of information regarding criminal matters arising in Thailand. It also appears that new measures have been promulgated in an effort to curb corruption. Apparently, the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission is poised to begin more assiduous corruption suppression initiatives.

The judiciary is not the only sector seeing reform initiatives recently. The tax authorities appear to be taking measures to make the Thai tax system more equitable, especially for those employed by Thai companies operating outside of Thailand. To quote from an article from the aforementioned website from May 23rd:

The Finance Ministry is poised to adjust the personal income tax system for Thais working abroad and foreigners who work here to create fairness and attract foreign direct investment…According to the Revenue Code, employees working for companies incorporated in Thailand are subject to personal income tax regardless of where they work…The way Thailand charges personal income tax is based on where employers have been set up rather than the source of income as in other countries…Thailand’s taxation of personal income is not fair and needs to be adjusted…

It appears that the Permanent Secretary plans to propose an amendment to the Revenue code to address the currently perceived unfairness in the Revenue Code. How such a proposed amendment will ultimately fare remains to be seen, but should the amendment be adopted it would be beneficial for some employees of corporations incorporated in Thailand.

In light of these stories it is interesting that the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand has noted Thailand’s readiness to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (also known as the TPP). For those unaware, the TPP is a trade agreement composed of 12 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam). Other nations have expressed interest in joining the TPP in recent years. To quote the Bangkok Post article on this issue from June 1st:

Mr Somkid said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has confirmed the country’s readiness to join the TPP, and a committee chaired by Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn has been set up to prepare for the move…”Thailand cannot afford to be complacent. We can take lessons from other member countries. At this point, we are ready to join the TPP. It depends on when they will accept us…”

Clearly, officials in the Thai government seem enthusiastic about the prospect of joining the TPP. However, the article goes on to note that measures are being taken to assess the ramifications of Thailand becoming a TPP member. It was also noted that Thailand would monitor the effect the TPP has had on other countries prior to making firm commitments to join the TPP. It seems likely that analysis of the experiences of Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore within the TPP framework will be utilized in order to better determine Thailand’s official petition to join the trade bloc and the timing thereof.

Thailand is clearly taking steps on many fronts to bring governance and regulations into line with global standards. When and how these efforts will bear fruit remains to be seen, but it is definitely an interesting time for students of Thai legal and regulatory matters.

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