The government is being recommended to review foreign income tax collection as a new tax will affect many retail investors who have invested overseas, says Jitta Wealth Asset Management.
Jitta chief executive Trawut Luangsomboon said the Revenue Department should reconsider its plan to require those with income from abroad to include their assessed income in the calculation of personal income tax.
"The department may think people who invest abroad are wealthy," said Mr Trawut.
"In fact, over the years small investors have increasingly turned overseas because they see an opportunity to obtain better returns than in the domestic market, or they want to diversify their portfolio to lower risks."
Retail investors can now start investing abroad with as little as a few hundred or few thousand baht through online platforms, he said.
"If the department collects tax on investments in foreign stocks, small investors would be affected more than wealthy investors," said Mr Trawut.
He suggested the government also exempt capital gains tax for investments in foreign stocks, as such tax is now exempted for investing in local stocks.
"I'm ready to represent investors in discussing these issues and possible solutions with the Revenue Department," said Mr Trawut.
In addition, the guidelines for calculating taxes on investments in foreign stocks should be clear as this income differs from other global asset income such as rental real estate and revenue from working overseas, he said.
"Stocks are risky assets and there is a chance of a profit or loss, with investment often carrying a high transaction cost," said Mr Trawut.
"This can make tax calculations complicated, with possible confusion in the treatment of investors. Therefore, if taxes are required on investment in overseas stock markets, the tax calculation should be clearly defined to ensure fairness to all investors."
He said the government should help investors earn positive returns from investments around the world.
"When investors profit from an investment abroad, they will bring these profits back to spend in the country, stimulating economic development," Mr Trawut said.
In a related development, Chavinda Hanratanakool, chairwoman of the Association of Investment Management Companies, said the proposed tax on global investments does not include investments in mutual funds.
"Investment in this segment is not affected," she said.