Tax rebate scheme to fire spending

Tax rebate scheme to fire spending

The cabinet on Monday approved a tax rebate scheme allowing people to deduct up to 30,000 baht spent on certain goods and services in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said the "shop dee mee khuen" project would run from Oct 23 to Dec 31 and would inject about 110 billion baht into the economy and raise GDP by 0.30%.

The scheme, which applies to people's personal income tax, cannot be claimed by anyone who has already signed up for either of the two existing consumption-boosting programmes, the "khon la krueng" subsidy and the 1,500-baht subsidy for holders of state welfare cards.

Buyers must also purchase their items from registered businesses and retain all their receipts. The rebate would also exclude certain products and services, including alcoholic drinks, tobacco, fuel, flight tickets, travel costs, hotel accommodation plus newspapers, magazines and their electronic versions.

About 3.7 million people are expected to take advantage of the programme, which will cost the state about 14 billion baht in lost tax revenue.

Despite that, Mr Anucha said the scheme would boost consumer spending, encourage business operators to register for VAT and boost the country's tax revenue in the long term.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha promised to help Thais survive the current health and economic crises. He pointed out the tax rebate was only the latest in a series of measures to inject money into the economy.

The PM also formally introduced new Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, who took an oath of office before His Majesty the King on Sunday. Mr Arkhom had served as transport minister in the previous administration.

Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said the stimulus measures in the last quarter of 2020 would inject 200 billion baht into the economy, with 60 billion baht coming from the state coffers and the rest from consumer spending.

Mr Supattanapong played down doubts over the government's recovery plan, saying all was proceeding well and that Mr Arkhom would help him come up with measures to bolster the economy, while Deputy Finance Minister Santi Promphat would help stabilise fiscal security.

He said Thailand would emerge stronger when the pandemic is finally over.

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