Health cover tax giveback sanctioned

Health cover tax giveback sanctioned

Measure eyed to make insurance affordable

The cabinet yesterday approved an additional tax break on premiums paid for health insurance, letting taxpayers claim a deduction of up to 15,000 baht for premiums paid to health insurance provided by life and non-life insurers.

The new measure goes into force retroactively from Jan 1, 2017.

Kobsak Phutrakul, assistant minister to the Prime Minister's Office, said the tax break will be permitted for a maximum of 100,000 baht on tax-deductible life insurance premiums that include health insurance riders.

Under current tax policy, life insurance policyholders with 10-year terms are not allowed to claim deductions for premiums on health riders.

Only premiums paid to a life insurance policy with coverage of 10 years or longer are tax-deductible.

Insurance holders who took out a life insurance policy for at least 10 years with a health insurance rider before Jan 1, 2009 can also deduct the premium paid for health insurance coverage from their personal income tax. But the combined premium must not exceed 100,000 baht per year.

In 2009, the Revenue Department revoked the tax deduction as it categorised health insurance as single-year coverage only, without built-in savings plans.

Mr Kobsak attributed the grant to the government's intention to help Thais afford health insurance and medical expenses.

Deputy Finance Minister Wisut Srisuphan said the new tax measure will help enable people to have more health coverage with a lower cost to the government.

In a related development, the cabinet yesterday also approved the draft bill on the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which is expected to pass the reading of the National Legislative Assembly over the next 4-5 months.

The bill allows the Eastern Economic Corridor Office to establish a one-stop service centre to help investors.

The draft also calls for the establishment of funds to take care of surrounding communities which may be affected by the EEC. Private sector players that invest in the EEC are also required to contribute to the fund.

The EEC committee will later determine the rate of contribution from the private sector.

The cabinet yesterday also agreed to speed up its Kanchanaburi special economic zone development plan and allocate a land plot covering 2,300 rai.

Nathporn Chatusripitak, an adviser to the Prime Minister Office's Minister, said the cabinet also approved establishing the Creative Economy Agency, a public organisation tasked with handling creative economy development.

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