Finance worries about tax collection targets in wake of incentive schemes
The Ministry of Finance is worried that it will not be able to achieve its tax-collection targets in the future because the government has launched tax incentive schemes to help individuals and the business sector.
Tanusak Lekuthai, a deputy finance minister in charge of tax collection, said such measures would have an impact, especially the drop in corporate tax to 20 per cent, and to 15 per cent for small and medium-sized enterprises. On top of this, a change in tax structure for personal income will take effect next year.
However, he rejected as untrue rumours that the government planned to reduce corporate tax to 15 per cent. Even the 20-per-cent rate will pose hardships for the ministry. If a funding scheme is launched to help companies hit by the increase in the daily minimum wage to Bt300, it will cost more than Bt10 billion in revenue.
Tanusak said the ministry would achieve its collection target this year thanks to receipts from the first-car-purchase scheme. That programme will strengthen government revenue via value-added tax. At present, buyers of 1.25 million cars have claimed tax refunds. On average, each buyer will gain Bt50,000, while the government will earn revenue from VAT of Bt50 billion this financial year. In addition, more tax revenue from the automobile industry will be earned.
"This year, we [the ministry] are lucky, as the first-car purchase scheme introduced by the government boosted our revenue collection. Although some of the amount will be returned to the buyers, the earnings will boost the government's liquidity for activities during the year,'' he said.
He also announced the launch of a tax-clinic project. Yesterday, its operational conference was held, a move to set up a one-stop service for tax payment, with a combination of tax-based agencies including the Revenue, Customs, and Excise Departments. Tax information will be kept within the system and be available on mobile applications, social media and the ministry's website.
The project is intended to collect tax information about 50 business categories nationwide. So far, it has been kicked off for five categories - alcohol, spas, One Tambon One Product, beverages, and fruit.