Thailand Will Amend its Tax Collection Rules for Internet and Tech Firms

Thailand’s Revenue Department head, Prasong Poontaneat said in the interview that Thailand is planning to toughen tax collection rules for internet and technology firms to update the country's tax laws.


In the recent months, several tech and internet companies have been accused or involved in tax affairs in Southeast Asia. In Japan, the tax authorities ordered an Apple iTunes unit in Japan to pay $118 million in penalty taxes for failing to properly pay withholding tax on usage rights for software allowing online music and video distribution. The Indonesian tax office launched an investigation on Google over suspicion of tax avoidance over the last five years. Many other multinationals are inclined to book profits at their Asia/Pacific headquarters located in countries like Singapore, which offers tax friendly environment.

Singapore's finance ministry said in an emailed statement that "Profits should be taxed where activities giving rise to the profits are performed and where value is created" and that it does not condone the "artificial shifting of profits".

Working Committee

Thailand has established a working committee to search for effective ways to collect taxes from these multinationals. Prasong Poontaneat said that “the idea is to seek appropriate solutions for Thailand and it could involve an amendment in some regulations because current laws are outdated and have been used for more than 50 years.” He added that he expects the committee to come up with solutions by the end of this year.

Thailand’s Revenue Department head, Prasong Poontaneat, informed that the new regulations would also cover mobile transfers and the internet payment industry.

Sources: Reuters, TechWireAsia, TPA - Japan case, TPA - Indonesia case

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