New tax: Seminar tackles issues

Thailand’s new tax, the Land and Building Tax Act, which is due to come into force in 2019, was the subject of a recent seminar.

The event, led by the Thai Chamber of Commerce, saw Thailand’s Deputy Minister for Finance, Wisut Srisuphan, explain that the Land and Building Tax Act will cover taxes related to homes and real estate.

He said the Act is aimed at reducing inequality in taxation.

The new tax will be progressive and its ceiling will be lowered from the current 40 percent to reduce the need for decision=making by tax collectors.

Thai Chamber of Commerce Executive Board Member Atip Bijanonda voiced concerns of SME operators, saying the language in the new Act, especially relating to farms and vacant plots, is still too vague and complicated.

He expressed further worries that pressure from the Act to utilise vacant land plots could lead to a heavy burden on utilities, and suggested a flat rate be mandated to eliminate confusion.

According to the Act, land and buildings for farming are to be taxed at no more than 0.1 percent with a ceiling set at 0.15 percent.

Residences will be taxed at no more than 0.1 percent with a ceiling of 0.3 percent, while commercial and industrial land and buildings will be taxed at no more than 0.7 percent with a ceiling of 1.2 percent.

Vacant plots will maintain their current tax rate, with the ceiling adjusted to 1.2 percent.

The Act will also see taxes for vacant plots rise by 0.3 percent every three years to a maximum of 3 percent.