Finance Ministry to maintain 7% VAT & may revive tax invoice lucky draw


BANGKOK, 4 June 2015 – The Ministry of Finance says it will seek Cabinet’s approval for plans to hold the value-added tax (VAT) at seven percent for another year, due to the economic slowdown.

Finance Minister Sommai Phasee admitted that he initially considered increasing VAT to 10 percent, to raise state revenue to 80 billion baht per year. However, Mr. Sommai reconsidered the idea, for fear that low-income households would bear the brunt of this plan.

However, he insisted that new tax laws and a package of regulations would be issued to make business operators and high-income earners contribute more to society.

One of his ideas is the revival of prize drawings for holders of tax invoices, in order to encourage buyers to ask for their tax invoice from operators. The Ministry of Finance is considering terms and conditions of the project with the Government Lottery Office (GLO).

Mr. Sommai added that the ministry was reviewing a new property bill, which will be submitted to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for approval. The review process is expected to take no more than two months. The Minister affirmed that low-income earners would remain unaffected by the new bill.

He claimed that new tax measures would enable the government to expand tax revenue by 10 percent. The government has targeted 2.3 trillion baht in tax revenue, or about 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.