Solo travellers in line to receive homestay tax perk

Solo travellers in line to receive homestay tax perk

Individual travellers who visit and stay at lodging with fewer than four rooms in second-tier provinces will soon be entitled to a tax break.

According to Nathporn Chatusripitak, an adviser to the Prime Minister's Office minister, the cabinet on Tuesday approved an additional tax break for tourism spending in second-tier provinces, allowing individual travellers who spend on lodgings with fewer than four rooms to use their receipts to claim a tax deduction of up to 15,000 baht.

The additional measure aims to support lodgings in communities, notably local homestays.

Mr Nathporn said eligible lodging providers are required to register with the Interior Ministry.

The latest travel tax break will become effective after the Council of State's approval and announcement by the Finance Ministry.

The Finance ministry estimated the government will lose 50 million baht worth of revenue from the new measure.

According to the Tourism and Sports Ministry's report, the existing tax breaks for tourism spending in 55 provinces, a move aimed at spurring travel and distributing income to provinces dubbed "secondary", cover only hotels under the Interior Ministry's supervision and qualified homestays that meet the quality standards set by the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

There are only 105 homestays that live up to the Tourism and Sports Ministry's quality standards.

The cabinet last Dec 26 approved an annual income tax deduction of up to 15,000 baht for people visiting 55 second-tier provinces, effective Jan 1-Dec 31, 2018.

This will include not only hotels but also homestay services that meet standards imposed by the Tourism and Sports Ministry. Taxpayers will need only to present receipts issued by service providers to receive tax returns.

The measure was aimed at promoting tourism in provinces that are not highly popular.

Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said the additional measure will help support small homestay operators.

Small-scale homestay providers only need to register with their local district officers to be eligible to join the tax incentive programme, he said.

According to Mr Weerasak, the Finance Ministry is likely to propose expansion of the tax incentive to cover some areas in the 22 other main provinces.

In a separate development, Mr Nathporn said the cabinet also approved a draft of a Royal Decree to facilitate ease of doing business.

Entrepreneurs can request for the permit only at the one-stop service unit at the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission. Entrepreneurs are required to submit their requests through several state agencies.

Mr Nathporn said restaurants and retailers are also allowed to request the permits online, with seven business types expected to be allowed within this year.

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