Tax revenue held back by pandemic
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Tax revenue held back by pandemic

Consumption and income need cure

Tax revenue from private consumption and personal and corporate income will not reach the levels seen during the pre-pandemic period until a vaccine is successfully developed, says the Revenue Department.

Tax revenue in the second quarter of the fiscal 2020 calendar, which started in October 2019, saw a 29% year-on-year decline as strict lockdown measures imposed to curb a domestic outbreak made the Revenue Department implement measures to alleviate negative effects on taxpayers, said director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas.

These included a delay in personal income tax filings, speeding up the process of tax refunds and reducing the withholding tax rate to 1.5% from 3%.

Tax revenue reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2020 was up by 5.7% year-on-year.

This was the result of tax filing being deferred to August, said Mr Ekniti.

A recovery was evident in some economic indicators, especially tax revenue collected from private consumption via the value-added tax, which saw 2.8% year-on-year growth, despite VAT revenue from imported products reporting an 18% contraction, he said.

It will be difficult for the economy to recover quickly without a successful vaccine as the country still relies heavily on revenue generated from the tourism sector, said Mr Ekniti.

Foreign tourist arrivals hit almost 40 million last year, contributing to tourist receipts worth around 2 trillion baht per year.

Tourism-related businesses and the hospitality industry are the sectors reeling the most from the pandemic, with Phuket province losing a lot of revenue derived from foreign tourists.

Revenue collection for fiscal 2020 that ended on Sept 30 tallied 1.83 trillion baht, slightly above the collection target of 1.82 trillion.

However, the amount was lower than the initial collection target of 2.12 trillion baht.

For fiscal 2021, the Revenue Department has a collection target of 2.085 trillion baht.

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