Arkhom pledges support, but recent rules cast doubt

Arkhom pledges support, but recent rules cast doubt

Arkhom: Aims to ease tax payment
Arkhom: Aims to ease tax payment

The government wants to support the use of digital assets to build the Thai economy, says Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

The Finance Ministry wants to promote digital asset trade and the use of digital assets to raise capital, he said.

However, digital asset usage must not affect the country's financial system, Mr Arkhom said at a cryptocurrency seminar on Wednesday, hosted by Thansettakij Multimedia Co Ltd.

He said the ministry aims to make it easier for digital asset investors to pay taxes on profits.

Profits earned from cryptocurrency trading, Bitcoin mining and the dividends or interest gained from investment in cryptocurrencies are all subject to a 15% withholding tax.

Mr Arkhom said the Revenue Department introduced the law to create the tax in 2018.

Local digital asset exchange operators and related businesses have requested a tax exemption for cryptocurrency trade for a period, claiming the industry needs more time to generate sustainable growth.

Prinn Panitchpakdi, deputy leader of the Democrat Party, said at the seminar the government should not collect the tax on the fledgling digital asset market now, instead delaying the levy for 3-5 years to give the market time to grow.

In a related matter, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is holding a public hearing from Jan 25 to Feb 8 on rules to prohibit digital asset business operators from facilitating the use of such assets as a means to pay for products and services.

The SEC, Bank of Thailand and Finance Ministry issued a joint statement that the widespread use of digital assets as a means of payment could impact financial stability and increase risks for the general public.

The central bank and SEC plan to jointly draw up rules to prevent the use of digital assets for such payment.

The rules apply to cryptocurrency and digital token exchanges, brokers and traders, as well as digital asset fund managers and cryptocurrency and digital token advisory service providers.

The rules forbid these businesses from facilitating the use of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services.

These prohibitions include showing they are ready to facilitate shops setting up digital asset payment for goods and services.

The regulated businesses also must not provide tools enabling shops to accept payment for their products and services using digital assets.

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