Thailand Planning Online Trader Tax, Notes Thai Law And Business Service Specialist

A bill to collect taxes from online traders was being prepared for proposal to the Finance Ministry. This was to stipulate all online trade and money transactions made in Thailand, including forms of electronic money, would be subject to taxation whether the business operator was inside or outside the country.

“The Revenue Department indicated the proposed taxation as online traders and online advertising gains more popularity in Thailand”, said the spokesman for BSA Law, a leading international law firm in Thailand.

Established over 30 years ago, BSA Law offers a full range of commercial and corporate legal and financial services to the Thai and foreign communities. Among its areas of expertise are Thai labour law, Thai law in general, company law, contracts, notarization and certification, intellectual property, insurance, real estate, investment, Thailand work permit and visa matters, starting a business in Thailand and taxation, accounting and auditing services.

In an earlier development to do with the growing e-commerce sector, the Commerce Ministry's Central Committee on Prices of Goods and Services in March 2017 issued new regulations concerning the display of online pricing and add-on expenses. These regulations applied to any business operator selling goods or services via an e-commerce system or online, with those failing to comply subject to a possible fine.

The following requirements applied to the sale of goods and services on any online platform such as social media sites, mobile applications and online marketplaces:

  • the price, service fee, type, kind, nature, size, weight, other expenses and other details of goods or services must be completely and clearly displayed
  • while the price and service fee can also be shown per unit in any figure, Arabic numerals must be used
  • while an accompanying translation into one or more other languages is permitted, the description and/or any details to be shown along with the price or service fee must be in Thai
  • the retail price of goods or services displayed online must be the same as the sale price or service charge to customers, except where the customer is charged a price less than that shown online.

The BSA Law spokesman commented at the time that the new regulations were a welcome move by the Commerce Ministry considering there were only a few regulations governing the growing e-commerce sector in Thailand, and the Thai law firm hoped to see more such regulations follow so that e-commerce grew in the right way.

The Thai government is on a mission to promote digital technology and wants to see more online businesses launched throughout the country. There is a goal of one million new online businesses by the end of the year, and cooperation between the education, agricultural and commerce ministries to help new start-ups as well as farmers, cooperatives, community enterprises and SMEs learn more about digital technology is aiming toward this.

The Department of Industrial Promotion meanwhile, in an effort to encourage businesses to use online communication channels, recently introduced five free apps for use on mobile phones and tablets. These are the Money Flow, Billing Flow, Stock Flow, Business Evaluation and DIP Business Plan apps.