Thailand threatens to block global e-commerce websites

Tech March 06, 2018 11:28

By Wichit Chaitrong
The Nation

12,020 Viewed

The Revenue Department has threatened to block giant foreign e-commerce websites if they do not pay taxes.



Director general Prasong Poonthanet said on Tuesday the department would this month submit a tax bill covering e-commerce to Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong for endorsement before it goes to Cabinet for approval.

If the draft law is approved, it will be forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly for debate.

Prasong said the department wanted to impose a 7-per-cent value-added tax on goods sold to Thai consumers.

The department would seek collaboration from the Digital Economy and Society Ministry in encouraging foreign e-commerce operators to participate in the tax collection system, he said.

His comment signalled that Thailand is prepared to block foreign e-commerce websites if they do not pay taxes.

Asking whether such operators might attempt to shift the tax burden to Thai consumers, Prasong said if they charged higher prices, consumers would instead buy from local businesses.

Currently, he said, foreign e-commerce operators take advantage of a legal loophole by issuing multiple bills for each transaction, none for more than Bt1,500 and thus not subject to taxation.