THE MINISTRY of Finance (MOF) plans to spend Bt3 billion on value added tax (VAT) refund to the poor for six months, from this November to April 2019. It expects about 15 million state welfare cardholders to benefit from the VAT return.
Of the total, 11.4 million will be existing state welfare cardholders with the rest likely to be newly-registered state welfare cardholders under Thai Niyom Yungyuen project.
VAT refund will be given in welfare cards at Bt500 per month per person. State welfare cardholders are not required to keep tax invoice of their spending as the MOF will be able to see their monthly spending on their cards.
“For example, when products worth Bt800 were bought in November, the VAT of 7 per cent or Bt56 will be refunded into the card in December. Only purchases of products such as soap, toothpaste, mobile phone will be eligible for refund and the items must be bought at VAT-registered shops,” the source said.
Blue-flag shops accept state welfare cards for payment.
The ministry has discussed with department stores and discount stores on the establishment of a point of sale system, which will be linked to electronic data capture (EDC), to separate the VAT from product prices.
State welfare cardholders are able to fill cash in their cards and shop at participating shops, then wait for the VAT return next month.
“It's very easy as the Ministry of Finance wants high spending through the cards to promote a cashless society,” the source said.
Tivaporn Phasuk, a director of the Office of Public Sector Receipt and Disbursement Administration at Comptroller General's Department (CGD), said that from September 3, the department has started filling into the accounts or e-Wallet of state welfare cardholders who have received occupational training. The cardholders are able to withdraw cash through the cards and buy products at participating stores.
Buying products at blue-flag shops can be done from September 15 after complete linkage between the electronics card system and the shops' EDC.