The group, led by online children’s clothes seller Arunee Numkate and freelance translator Thirapat Charoensuk, submitted a letter to Palang Pracharath MP Watanya Wongopasi, who is the spokesperson for a House committee on finance, fiscal and financial institutions and markets.
The group called on the panel for help after PayPal (Thailand) announced all accounts registered to freelancers, casual online sellers and small-scale entrepreneurs will have limited functionality from March 7. To continue receiving payments all users are required to submit proof that they have been registered as juristic persons, PayPal said.
However, the group said this requirement has not just caused confusion but is also an added financial burden.
Watanya responded by saying her panel will call on the Bank of Thailand (BOT) and Commerce Ministry to look into the issue.
She said PayPal is supervised by the BOT and she believes it should be able to come up with a solution for freelancers.
She also said the panel will try to have PayPal delay the implementation of its new policy, which she believes is influenced by the BOT’s measures against money laundering.
Cause of confusion
Thirapat also complained that PayPal has provided no information on how freelancers can register as legal entities or even which Thai laws can be applied. He said when asked to clarify, PayPal only said they should register with the Commerce Ministry as “ordinary persons doing business” if they want to continue receiving payments.
Then on February 5 PayPal changed the rules again and announced that all accounts in Thailand must be registered as legal entities, he said.
Arunee, who has been selling clothes online for eight years now, said suddenly on November 11, PayPal demanded she registers with the Commerce Ministry. However, she said, on February 5, it changed its policy again.
She said registering as a juristic person will take time and is worried she may not be able to meet the March 7 deadline.
Hence, Thirapat said, the group wants the panel to speak to PayPal and find out which government agency has pushed for the changes and which laws these changes are based on.
The group also called on the House panel to cancel the requirement for freelancers to register as juristic persons and take responsibility for the damage caused by the confusion.
The group also wants PayPal to postpone the implementation of the new policy and allow non-business users to continue using the service.
Published : February 25, 2022
By : THE NATION