New Year govt gift bonanza
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New Year govt gift bonanza

Cabinet gives nod to big stimulus package

The government will roll out a package of stimulus measures as "New Year gifts", including tax rebates for shoppers, reductions in land and building taxes, and property transaction fees to boost public consumption and the economy over the coming year.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Tuesday the cabinet had approved the measures and projects proposed by the Finance Ministry. However, the Khon La Krueng ["Half and Half"] co-payment subsidy would end.

Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith explained the scheme had been discontinued as people's purchasing power had returned.

Among the stimulus measures is the Shop Dee Mee Khuen tax rebate scheme, in which shoppers will be able to claim income tax rebates on up to 40,000 baht of purchases between Jan 1 and Feb 15 next year, backed by paper or e-invoices.

This is expected to boost the national economy and promote the use of the online tax platform, she said.

Excluded from the tax rebates will be purchases of liquor, beer, wine, tobacco, cars, motorcycles, boats, newspapers, magazines, tour guide fees, hotel accommodation, public utilities, tap water and electricity fees, phone and internet services, long-term service fees ordered outside the Jan 1-Feb 15, 2023 period and non-life insurance.

The cabinet also reduced the land and building tax by 15%, cut property transfer fees from 2% to 1%, and decreased mortgage registration fees from 1% to 0.01% next year.

The reduction in transfer and pledge registration fees will only cover sums of less than 3 million baht in each case and will apply to both new and second-hand residential units.

The cabinet had also slashed excise tax on jet fuel for domestic flights from 4.726 baht to 0.20 baht per litre from Jan 1 to June 30, 2023, to promote tourism and support the recovery of airline operators after the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Rachada said.

In addition, licence fees for liquor, tobacco, and playing card vendors will be waived for the year for all existing sellers.

There will be new incentives rolled out by the Bank for Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Government Savings Bank, the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank, the Student Loan Fund, the Islamic Bank Asset Management Co, the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Insurance Commission, and the Tobacco Authority of Thailand among others.

Details are available from the respective banks and agencies.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday that the government is trying its best to stimulate the economy with these "New Year gifts", with Mr Arkhom noting it is hoped the required 18.6 billion baht will be offset by a 0.76% boost in GDP.

The Finance Ministry believes growth can hit 3.8% next year, which would surpass October's forecast of 3.4%.

Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the Revenue Department, said the tax rebate measure would cost about 6.2 billion baht in tax revenue but could put an extra 42 billion baht into circulation with about 1.4 million people expected to take part.

Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of Thai Chamber of Commerce, hailed the measures, particularly the tax rebate scheme, which will encourage business operators to enter the value-added system and, in turn, help broaden the tax base.

"This is the right time for all involved to try to stimulate the economy and steer the country forward for the coming year," he said.

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