More tax incentives mulled to assist startups

More tax incentives mulled to assist startups

A draft bill would waive capital gains and corporate income taxes for venture capital and angel investors in a bid to spur interest in local startups.

The bill will go before the cabinet this year, said Chinawut Chinaprayoon, director for new ventures at the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office.

The tax incentives are intended to help Thai startups compete in the international arena, he said.

The Revenue Department earlier offered a five-year corporate income tax exemption to startups involved in the 10 targeted industries described as S-curve sectors: next-generation cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics; aviation and logistics; biofuels and bio-chemicals; digital; and medical hub.

Startups entitled to the tax privileges were required to sign up as juristic entities from Oct 1 to Dec 31, last year, and have minimum registered capital of 5 million baht and annual revenue not exceeding 30 million.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand recently said it planned to seek approval from the Finance Ministry to waive the capital gains tax for 10 years for investors who put money into Live, a planned fund-raising platform for startups.

That platform came in response to instructions from Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who said the SET should consider offering a venue for startup fund-raising.

The government is seeking to enhance startups to meet the demands of its Thailand 4.0 model.

Mr Chinawat said the incentives Thailand will provide to attract people to invest in startups must, at the very least, be on par with those offered in neighbouring countries.

He noted Israel as one potential model, saying it allows startups to collapse and set up a new business up to five times, giving them more opportunities to succeed.

With the Finance Ministry's e-tax, the process for starting and closing a business will become faster and the auditing process will also be less time-consuming, said Mr Chinawat.

Pun-Arj Chairatana, director of the National Innovation Agency, said the proposed tax incentives for startups are aimed at keeping local, growing statups from registering their businesses abroad, while also enticing foreign investors to put their money into them.

Some 28 billion baht has already been injected into local startups, he said.

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