Govt collects B3bn from foreign firms

Govt collects B3bn from foreign firms

New e-commerce law deemed effective

The government collected more than 3 billion baht in value-added tax (VAT) on the sales of goods from foreign online platforms between September and January.

If the trend continues, the kingdom is expected to rake in about 10 billion baht per year.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said this is thanks to the enforcement of the e-service tax law, which started in September.

Mr Thanakorn said the number of registered services has increased to 127, with volumes of e-commerce worth 44.5 billion baht during the first five years. They paid a total of 3.12 billion baht in VAT during the five-month period, he said.

Since the law was put in place on Sept 1, 2021, foreign electronic service providers and electronic platforms are required to register and pay a 7% VAT liability if their annual incomes exceed 1.8 million baht.

Mr Thanakorn said the government expects VAT collection from these providers to reach 8-10 billion baht in the first year.

E-service companies, including those covering e-commerce platforms, online advertising, online accommodation booking, online music and film streaming, and online games and apps, are subject to this legislation.

The enforcement of the e-service tax law in Thailand follows in the footsteps of more than 60 countries already collecting VAT from foreign service operators in their respective territories.

Mr Thanakorn said the e-service tax will not only generate income for the country, but also allow Thai operators to compete with foreign companies on a level-playing field.

Meanwhile, the government's three subsidy schemes, which were launched on Feb 1 to help reduce the cost of living, have injected more than 61 billion baht into the economy, Mr Thanakorn said.

As of Thursday, the fourth phase of the "Khon La Khrueng" co-payment subsidy scheme saw total spending of 55.73 billion baht among 26.2 million participants, he said.

The scheme allows the government to subsidise food, drinks and general goods by 50%, he said.

The fourth phase involved increasing the purchasing power of state-welfare cardholders, he said, noting it resulted in 5 billion baht worth of spending among 13.3 million participants.

The second phase, which provided special aid, saw total spending of 446 million baht among 1.26 million participants.

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