March 26, 2014 00:00
By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Study on restructuring to be prepared for next govt
The Board of Trade of Thailand plans to propose that the next government restructure the excise-tax system as an urgent need to increase transparency and prepare for the upcoming Asean Economic Community.
The board will conduct a study on excise-tax restructuring, to be complete within five months.
“Thailand has faced three main problems related to ineffi-cient collection of excise tax,
namely lower revenues, complexity and lack of transparency, and inappropriate rates. As well, it is unprepared for seamless trade in Asean,” said Kitipong Urapeepatanapong, chairman of the Board of Trade’s tax law committee.
According to board, the government could collect more than Bt430 billion in excise tax each year, amounting to 17 per cent of its revenue. However, this year it will likely fall short of that figure, for many reasons.
One of these, Kitipong said, was lower sales of many products, but inefficiency of the taxation system and lack of transparency in its procedures were also at fault.
In the first five months of the fiscal year, excise revenue has dropped for a number of products. Excise tax from automobiles has declined by Bt12.76 billion year on year, from fuel by Bt11.4 billion, and from tobacco by Bt25.5 billion.
The top five products in terms of excise revenue are automobiles, beer, tobacco, fuel, and alcoholic beverages.
The board will cooperate with the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in the
study on restructuring the excise-tax system, focusing on equity, policy consistency,
transparency, efficiency, simplicity, tax administration, and tax rates.