6 June 2024

Thailand’s Revenue Department has no intention of imposing a departure tax on Thai nationals and permanent foreign residents travelling out of Thailand, as has been widely misunderstood.

Revenue Department Deputy Director-General Winit Wisetsuwannaphum said in a statement, issued yesterday (Sunday), that they are merely gathering public opinion about the proposed departure tax of 1,000 baht for air travel and 500 baht for land and sea travel, as part of a legal process, in line with constitutional requirements, to assess the impacts of the proposal.

He explained that the departure tax, which was originally 5,000 baht, was proposed in an executive decree, promulgated in 1983, but not due to be enforced until 1991, when a ministerial regulation was issued to put the proposed departure tax on hold and to introduce the new rate.

He said that the Revenue Department is, however, legally required to assess the impacts of such a proposal and has recently begun to gather public opinion without any plan to actually impose the tax.

His statement was in response to uproar among tourism-related businesses and public misunderstanding.

President of the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA), Charoen Wangananont, said that the department’s move came as a complete surprise, adding that the levy is unrealistic, too high and may negatively impact tourism.