6 June 2024

A new e-business tax bill, which has been approved by the House scrutiny committee, will be forwarded to the Senate next week for consideration.

Under the bill, foreign-based online platform operators, who generate income of more than 1.8 million baht in Thailand, will be required to register for VAT and will be subject to 7% VAT.  This includes online games, sticker downloads, online ads, digital content and online hotel bookings.

Revenue Department Director-General Mr. Aekniti Nititanprapas said that the department expects to earn at least an additional five billion baht annually from VAT collection from such online businesses, adding that the Revenue Department will also expand the tax base of domestic income-earners, especially about five million who currently evade income tax payment.

Currently, 9.5 million people are listed in the department’s tax base scheme, but only three million of them have incomes which are taxable.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Aekniti said that many have earned income through online businesses, adding that these include “YouTubers” and social influencers.

The Finance Ministry has projected tax collection for the 2021 fiscal year at two trillion baht, despite the fact that the economy is still slowly recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It hopes that the various stimulus packages rolled out by the government, such as the 50:50 co-payment and “shop dee mee khuen” schemes, will boost expenditure by consumers and, hence, tax revenue for the state.