Final cryptocurrency levy talk on Jan 20
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Final cryptocurrency levy talk on Jan 20

The Revenue Department plans to finalise the discussion on a cryptocurrency capital gains tax on Jan 20, announcing details on the tax collection process and tax rates later this month.

The department convened a meeting to talk with digital asset operators, the Thai Digital Asset Association and market participants on Jan 11, collecting opinions on a capital gains tax from cryptocurrency trading.

The department is scheduled to hold a final meeting with market participants on Jan 20 before announcing information about tax rates and collection methods at the end of this month, said Suppakrit Boonsat, president of the Thai Digital Asset Association.

He said the department should clarify three issues before imposing the tax: how to calculate and pay such tax; how the tax rate can be relaxed; and whether the tax is considered a value-added tax, income tax or withholding tax, as well as how it will be collected.

"Our meeting with the Revenue Department went well. It shows the government is willing to listen to companies and participants in the industry," said Mr Suppakrit.

Proud Limpongpan, chief marketing officer at Zipmex, also wants more details from the department on tax collection so investors can properly prepare their tax filings.

She said if the department cannot reach a mutually beneficial agreement with all market participants, the cryptocurrency market in Thailand will become less attractive to investors, who may flee to foreign markets.

Jirayut Srupsrisopa, group chief executive of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings, said according to Bitkub's survey, many investors voiced concern over uncertainties about tax collection.

These investors want the Revenue Department to provide more clarity on the matter, said Mr Jirayut.

Many investors disagreed with a tax rate of 15%, saying that high of a rate puts an unnecessary burden on Thai investors while the country's GDP per capita is already low, he said.

They said the tax should be collected in rounds throughout the year, not all at once, while investors still have to bear the full burden of their own losses.

According to Mr Jirayut, some investors said the proposed tax may backfire, resulting in less tax revenue as Thais migrate to foreign digital exchanges or stop investing in digital assets altogether.

Survey participants said the government should not tax cryptocurrency investors when the industry is still in a nascent stage because it would significantly stunt its growth potential at a time when the country needs more technology startups to compete in the digital economy.

Mr Jirayut said the digital asset industry is the backbone of Thailand's Web 3.0 development and it has the opportunity to become a regional leader if the government provides more support for Thai tech companies to develop a strong digital and blockchain infrastructure, creating more opportunities for investors to help fund the industry.

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