Ministry mulls tax on abroad on-line operators

The Finance Ministry is studying ways to slap corporate income tax on the overseas multinational online companies offering services in Thailand, said the Fiscal Policy Office’s director-general Kulaya Tantitemit.

Her remark follows the G7 finance ministers agreement at a meeting in London recently to back a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% to squeeze more money out of multinational companies.

The move is aimed at stopping competition among countries to lure multinational companies by offering them low tax rates.

Ms Kulaya said, however, that such an agreement is still a broad principle and the ministry will wait to see more formal details.

She added that the Finance Ministry will continue to study and analyse ways to introduce such a tax in Thailand.

Under Thai law, the country can only collect corporate income tax from companies that have a permanent establishment in Thailand.

She added that Thailand has the right to tax the profit of multinational digital companies in Thailand if they transfer profit to their entities here. Earlier, the ministry introduced an e-service tax law in Thailand.

Starting on Sept 1 this year, overseas businesses providing online services in Thailand will be required to register for 7% value-added tax (VAT) liability if their annual income exceeds 1.8 million baht.

E-service businesses liable for VAT payment include those offering download services for movies, games, brokerage services and advertisements.

More than 60 countries have already adopted this kind of tax.

The Revenue Department is preparing to issue four organic laws to support the enactment of the e-service tax.

Of the four organic laws, two are ministerial regulations and two are notices from the department’s director-general.