Thai government’s tax measures in response to COVID-19 virus crisis

19 March 2020

The measures include WHT rate reductions and promises of faster VAT refunds for good exporters

The Royal Thai Government has approved Phase One of a broad range of financial and fiscal relief measures to help Thai companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, impacted by the COVID-19 virus crisis.

 

Thailand covid-19 relief measures

Travel and tourism companies are a primary focus of attention for the relief measures. Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said that tourism, which accounts for 12% of the GDP, has been one of the worst affected sectors due to a 44% decline in visitors in February 2020. Chinese visitors alone were down 85%.

The package of relief measures proposed by the Ministry of Finance and approved by the Thai Cabinet on 10 March 2020, include the following tax measures:

Withholding tax rates reduced from 3% to 1.5%

The Revenue Department has announced that the 3% withholding tax rate shall be reduced for the following taxpayers and income:

Taxpayer

  Type of income

Companies or juristic partnerships

Hire of work, services, commissions, liberal professions

Individuals

Hire of work, services, liberal professions

 

The lower rates will apply as follows:

   Rate

Period

Conditions for payment

1.5%

April – September 2020

Any payment method

2%

October 2020 – December 2021

Payment by e-withholding tax only

 

Faster VAT refunds for good exporters

VAT registrants that are limited companies or public limited companies and registered as good exporters will obtain faster VAT refunds as follows:

Method of filing

Timeline for refund

Internet filing

15 days

Manual filing at revenue office

45 days

No deadline for this measure to end has been announced.

 

1.5 times deduction for interest paid by SMEs

SMEs participating in the government’s low-interest credit measures to help entrepreneurs, will be entitled to a corporate income tax deduction of 1.5 times interest paid arising from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020, if they keep one set of accounts and the following conditions are met in the last accounting period that ended on or before 30 September 2019:

  • Revenues for 12 months not exceeding Baht 500 million
  • Not more than 200 employees

 

3 times deduction for wages paid by SMEs from April – July 2020

SMEs will be entitled to a corporate income tax deduction of three times for wages paid in respect of the months of April 2020 to July 2020, if the following conditions are met:

  • Revenues for 12 months not exceeding Baht 500 million and not more than 200 employees, for the last accounting period that ended on or before 30 September 2019
  • Employees are registered for social security and their monthly wages do not exceed Baht 15,000 per person
  • Number of employees during the period are not less than the number registered with the Social Security Office on 31 December 2019.

 

Deduction for donations to government fund

Individuals, companies and registered partnerships may claim a tax deduction for donations made via e-Donation to the approved government fund to combat COVID-19  during the period from 5 March 2020 to 5 March 2021. The deduction will be subject to the usual rules applicable to donations.

VAT registrants will be exempt from VAT on assets donated.

 

Personal tax allowance for purchase of SSF units

Individual taxpayers will be able to claim an allowance of up to Baht 200,000 for units purchased in a Super Savings Fund from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020, where the fund has a policy to invest not less than 65% of its NAV in securities listed on the SET.

This allowance is separate from the allowance normally allowed for purchases of SSF units and is not subject to the deduction limit for retirement funds of Baht 500,000.

 

The above summary is based on information published by the Ministry of Finance and announcements made by the Revenue Department and is subject to regulations being put in place to give effect to the measures announced.

Social security contributions rate reduced from 5% to 4%

The Social Security Office has announced a reduction of the contribution rate for employers and employees from 5% to 4% for 6 months from March to August 2020.