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Thailand announces tax measures to manage COVID-19 outbreak

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The economic crisis has prompted a response to assist businesses

Saravut Krailadsiri and Sasipailin Chaisechotes of Kudun & Partners discuss how the Thai government has moved to assist businesses and taxpayers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Due to the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Thai government has implemented a number of important initiatives aimed at supporting the Thai economy and affected industries.

As part of these initiatives, the Ministry of Finance of Thailand has enacted several important short term and medium term tax relief measures to support individual and corporate entities in Thailand, to ease the hardships faced by many during these uncertain times. Set out below is a summary of these measures.

Defer tax filings and payments

Filing of tax returns and payments of the following taxes will be deferred:

Category of tax

Period of applicable tax

New filing and

payment due dates

Personal income tax


August 31 2020

Corporate income tax


August 31 2020

Withholding taxes including payments to offshore recipients

March – April 2020

May 15 2020

Value added tax (VAT)

March – April 2020

May 23 2020

VAT for payments to offshore entity

March – April 2020

May 15 2020

Specific business tax

March – April 2020

May 23 2020

Stamp duty

Due date is in between April 1 2020 – May 15 2020

May 15 2020

Excise tax for oil trading

April – June 2020

Within the 15th day of the month following the month which such goods are taken from the factory or bonded warehouse

Reduce withholding tax rate for certain payments

The withholding tax rate on certain income such as service fees and commissions, normally subject to 3% withholding tax, will be reduced to 1.5% from April 1 2020 to September 30 2020.

For taxpayers registered under the e-withholding tax system, the withholding tax rate will be reduced to 2% for payments made from October 1 2020 to December 31 2020.

Increase tax deduction for SMEs

Loan interest can be deducted at one and a half times the actual amount in the small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) corporate income tax calculation, provided that (i) the loan interest must be under the soft loan campaign for SMEs that are directly or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; (ii) the interest must be paid in the period between April 1 2020 to December 31 2020; and (iii) the SMEs must have a single accounting book.

Employment salary from April 2020 to July 2020 can be deducted at three times the actual amount in the SMEs’ corporate income tax calculation for 2020, provided that (i) the employee must be registered under the social security system; (ii) the monthly salary must not exceed THB 15,000 ($463); and (iii) the eligible SME must maintain the number of employees not lower than the number registered under the socialsSecurity system as of the end of December 2019.

Note: The eligible SMEs must have (i) total 12 months’ revenue of less than THB 500 million; (ii) total employees of less than 200 persons; and (iii) its accounting period ending on or before September 30 2019.

Increase the allowance of personal income tax calculation

From April 1 2020 to June 30 2020, any individual investing in a super saving fund (SSF) with a policy to invest at least 65% of its net assets value in shares listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, can apply for the actual investment amount not exceeding THB 200,000, as an allowance in addition to the SSF and retirement saving fund threshold, in their personal income tax calculation for the year 2020, provided that the investment in the fund will be held for at least 10 years.

As of the tax year 2020 onwards, the threshold on a health insurance premium allowance shall be increased up to THB 25,000 (from THB 15,000). However, the amount of health insurance premium together with the life insurance premiums and deposits for life must not exceed THB 100,000.

Expedite VAT refund for ‘good exporters’

Business operators who have been approved as “Good Exporters” by the Revenue Department shall receive VAT refunds within (i) 15 days (normally takes 30 days) from the date of filing the online VAT return form via this site and this site; or (ii) 45 days (normally takes 60 days) from the date of filing the VAT return in paper form at the Area Revenue Branch Office.

Exempt import duty on certain medical supplies

Applicable import duties imposed on 66 items categorised as medical supplies or others which help treat, diagnose or prevent COVID-19 will be exempted from March 26 2020 to September 30 2020. The full list of exempted items will be further announced by the Ministry of Public Health. 

Exempt taxes on debt restructuring

Tax exemptions on personal income tax and corporate income tax for the debtor on the amount of debt released from debt restructuring;

Tax exemptions on personal income tax, corporate income tax, VAT, specific business tax, and stamp duty for debtor and creditor for income derived from sale, service or arranging of an instrument in relation to the debt restructuring; and

Tax exemptions on personal income tax, corporate income tax, specific business tax, and stamp duty for income derived from the transfer of mortgaged immovable property to a person other than the creditor.

It should be noted that:

• The creditor shall not be a financial institution;

• Debt restructuring must take place between January 1 2020 and December 31 2021;

• The conditions of writing-off bad debt due to debt restructuring will be relaxed; and

• The transfer fee for the transfer of immovable property in relation to the debt restructuring will be reduced from 2% to 0.01%, provided that the transfer of immovable property must be on the effective date of relevant notification until December 31 2021.

As it is difficult to accurately forecast all of the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand, tax relief measures and non-tax measures may continuously be introduced and adapted depending on the economic situation. Investors and operators who are impacted or could potentially be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are advised to follow the updated measures from various Thai government agencies.

Saravut Krailadsiri


Sasipailin Chaisechotes


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