Thailand to start collecting taxes from foreign tech companies

FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is seen at the gathering of startups and high tech leaders, Viva Tech, in Paris, France, May 16, 2019. REUTERS / Charles Platiau / File Photo

BANGKOK, Sept.1 (Reuters) – Thailand will start collecting value added tax (VAT) from foreign tech companies on Wednesday and hopes to generate at least 5 billion baht ($ 154.70 million) in additional revenue each year , said a senior official.

Foreign platforms providing electronic services in Thailand will need to register for the payment of VAT, senior finance ministry official Ekniti Nitithanpraphas told reporters.

So far, 69 companies have signed up to a goal of 100, according to Ekniti.

The companies are divided into five categories, including e-commerce and advertising revenue-generating platforms like Facebook (FB.O) and Google (GOOGL.O), middlemen like the Grab rideshare app and streaming services such as Netflix (NFLX. O), he added.

Businesses with turnover exceeding 1.8 million baht will have to pay 7% VAT, which must be paid monthly, he said.

The ministry’s target of 5 billion baht in additional revenue is a minimum because that target was met before the pandemic.

Thailand collects around 800 billion baht per year from VAT.

Last week, the government approved an extension of the current 7% VAT rate until September 2023. The VAT rate has been 7% since the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98.

($ 1 = 32,3200 baht)

Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng Editing by Ed Davies

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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