Tax deadline moved because of outbreak
The cabinet has pushed back the deadline for the filing of personal income tax to support individuals and businesses hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Those required to pay taxes are allowed to make their payments until the end of June, as opposed to March, said Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) director Lawaron Sangsanit yesterday.
He said the extra time for payments is among the tax measures adopted to help the virus-hit tourism sector.
The other tax measures are slashing excise tax on jet fuel from 4.726 baht to 0.20 baht a litre until Sept 30; allowing firms to deduct twice as much as their expenses for organising seminars in other provinces this year from their taxable income; and allowing business operators to deduct 1.5 times as much as their spending on renovation this year.
The government forecasts these measures will cost about 4.5 billion baht in state revenue to implement.
Mr Lawaron said the FPO is ready to consider a call by bus tour operators to cut excise tax on fuel which is currently collected at five baht a litre.
Government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said the delay in personal income tax payment is intended to provide breathing room for those who have tax burdens.
"The government believes these measures are worthwhile and their rollout is at the right time ... to support the economy and maintain its expansion.
"The FPO assesses that the coronavirus situation will ease in three months and the country's economic growth is likely to be 2.8% as projected. There will be more measures to stimulate the economy," she said.
According to Mr Lawaron, state-run banks will also provide low-interest loans worth a total of 123 billion baht to tourism-related businesses with interest starting at 3%. Moreover, loan repayment stipulations and fees will be relaxed.
SME Development Bank is offering a six-month debt moratorium for collateral repayment to borrowers with good track records, the Government Savings Bank is introducing debt suspension of up to five years and Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation will suspend credit guarantee fees for 12 months.
"The Finance Ministry and the Bank of Thailand agree that these measures will not be the last. More measures will be rolled out when it's time," he said.
Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the cabinet has also approved in principle a budget of 500 million baht to boost the tourism industry.
He said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the ministry to draw up a proposal with details as soon as possible.