Tax deductions to encourage couples to have more babies

Tax deductions to encourage couples to have more babies

A baby dressed to greet the new Year of the Dog by wearing, appropriately, a dog costume at Paolo Chokchai 4 Hospital. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
A baby dressed to greet the new Year of the Dog by wearing, appropriately, a dog costume at Paolo Chokchai 4 Hospital. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

With Thai society ageing rapidly, the Finance Ministry will allow couples a tax deduction on the cost of a having a baby and raising it for the first year as an incentive to have more children.

It was announced in the Royal Gazette on Thursday that a couple can claim a personal tax deduction of up to 60,000 baht on the cost of prenatal and first-year baby care retroactive to Jan 1 this year.

The deduction is in the form of a ministerial regulation signed by Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong and is intended to encourage couples to have more babies to reverse the kingdom's low birth rate.

Thailand's annual birth rate is 10.7 per 1,000 of population, according to the Institution for Population and Social Research at Mahidol University -- among the lowest in Southeast Asia.

With fewer babies being born and more people getting old, the country is an ageing society with 10% of the population aged 60 years or more. The National Economic and Social Development Board reported last year there were 11.2 million people who were 60 or older, accounting for 17% of the population.

The National Statistics Office projects the figure to grow to 17.6 million in 2013 and to 20.5 million in 2040.

The ministry is studying a revamp of the tax structure in the expectation there will be fewer taxpayers in the future due to the accompanying decline in the size of the workforce.


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