THE CABINET yesterday gave the green light on new excise rates for so-called sin taxes that are expected to be announced in the Royal Gazette on Friday, according to Excise Department's director-general, who insisted on no additional burden for business operators and consumers.
Somchai Poolsavasdi said that the Cabinet agreed on a draft of the ministerial regulation for the excise rates on liquor, cigarettes and cards.
The move was in line with the Excise Act, B.E. 2560 (2017) which will come into force on Saturday, on expectation for an announcement in the Royal Gazette a day earlier.
Other new excise rates for other products approved by the Cabinet earlier will be announced in the Royal Gazette over the next days.
Somchai insisted that the new excise rates will not add to the burden on business operators and consumers, and coordinating efforts were being made relating the hoarding of goods.
The new excise rates aim to expand the country's tax revenue base, he said.
Taxing will be grouped into three categories: luxury products; an environmentally affected group; and sin products that damage people’s health, he said. A new excise will be levied on the degrees of sweetness.
Exemptions will be cancelled for 111 items in commercial freezers, including tea and coffee.
According to an anonymous source from the Ministry of Finance, the new excise bill will restructure excise rates, changing the tax calculation method from ex-factory prices and cost insurance freight prices to recommended retail prices.
The new excise bill will not increase the burden to the business operators but boost transparency, fairness and appropriateness, the source said.
Affected business operators will be who that have never been subjected to excise duties, such as those producing sweet beverages. Those taxed on sweet beverages will be allowed two years for an adjustment in their businesses.
Based on a new tax law on drinks with high sugar content, the rates will be divided into six categories. Drinks that contain less than 6 grammes of sugar per 100 millilitres will be allowed for tax exemption. Drinks that contain 6-8, 8-10, 10-14 grammes of sugar per 100 millilitres will be imposed excise tax rates of 10, 30 and 50 satang per litre, respectively. Those that contain 14-18 and 18 grammes or more will be taxed Bt1 per litre. The rates will be adjusted on a progressive scale every two years.