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The Thai government has set up an online team to support fair tax collection on the new e-tailer tax that is hoped to make e-tailers pay the same tax that locally based businesses do. The law will change from allowing a company that has no physical presence in the country to avoid paying taxes to stating that any business or transaction being conducted in Thailand is liable for taxation, regardless of whether the business has an established presence in the country. There are currently about 500,000 websites offering items for sale, of which 350,000 are located in Thailand. Tax revenues from online businesses was 1 billion baht during 2016-2017, far below the estimated 100 billion baht in online transactions in the country during the same period. Indonesia, Taiwan, and India are some other countries that have imposed an e-commerce tax.

The Board of Investment (BOI) is considering extending tax privileges for small to medium business enterprises (SMEs) for another three years as the current measures are due to expire on December 31, 2017. The measures would help Thai SME's who account for about 99 percent of all Thai businesses, there are around 2.74 million SMEs nationwide. The BOI approves around 1,000 projects for investment promotion each year, of which two-thirds are for SMEs. The investment promotion is for 38 categories including glass production, jewelry and ornaments, auto parts, software, pharmaceuticals, printing and film production. The promotions include corporate tax exemption for two more years and apply used machinery. Eligible companies must be 51 percent Thai owned, maintain a debt-to-equity ratio of 3:1 and have investment cost of at least 200 million baht, excluding land, working capital or net fixed assets.

The Consumer Confidence Index rose to a 33-month high last month, rising for the fourth straight month as confidence in the economy grew in part due to continued growth in exports and rising tourism for the high season. Exports rose 13.1 percent year on year in October to 658 billion baht or US$20.1 billion. The first ten months of the year has seen a 9.7 percent growth an exports totaling US$196 billion. The stronger baht is a concern as it hit 32.5 baht to the US dollar, the highest in 31 months. The survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) forecasts economic growth to reach 4.2 - 4.5 percent in 2018 while the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has revised its GDP growth forecast for 2017 to 3.9%, up from the previous forecast of 3.7%.

Thailand's first Michelin guide for Bangkok came out last week and while street stalls received mentions, none were given stars. Thailand has three two-star restaurants, 14 one-star restaurants and 35 Bib Gourmand restaurants -- a new category without stars created to provide recommendations to diners that was expanded to promote Bangkok's street food. The guide selected 98 restaurants after 8 months of surveys. Gaggan, Le Normandie and Mezzaluna were the only restaurants to receive two stars. The Michelin guide covers 28 countries and selects the best culinary experiences revealing new trends and new chefs. The new guide is expected to boost Bangkok tourism as tourists come to visit the restaurants in the guide.

Business News

Dec 9 2017 >> E-commerce tax to be enforced for overseas companies
Dec 2 2017 >> New Minister of Tourism and Sports to focus on local communities
Nov 25 2017 >> BOI applications up, BOI privileges extended for the EEC
Nov 19 2017 >> Construction of first leg of high speed rail to Nong Khai expected to start next month
Nov 12 2017 >> Thai government plans to implement more reforms to ease doing business
Nov 4 2017 >> Thailand jumps to 26th in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report
Oct 28 2017 >> Women now make up 52% of visitors to Thailand
Oct 21 2017 >> Sunbelt Asia joins the nation in mourning HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Oct 14 2017 >> Low cost carriers expanding, tourist arrivals up
Oct 8 2017 >> New smartphone app for BOI work permit applicants
Oct 1 2017 >> Bangkok most visited city in the world
Sep 24 2017 >> International tourist arrivals up over 8 percent in August
Sep 16 2017 >> Pattaya tourism up 15 percent from last year
Sep 10 2017 >> Low cost carriers to expand routes once ICAO red flag lifted from Thai carriers
Sep 2 2017 >> New excise taxes to take effect September 16
Aug 27 2017 >> New Immigration auto-gate entry for Singaporeans at Suvarnabhumi
Aug 19 2017 >> Cabinet approves new 4 year visa for skilled professionals and investors
Aug 12 2017 >> Report ranks Thailand best country to start a business
Aug 5 2017 >> Economy grew in June due to export, tourism growth
Jul 29 2017 >> FPO predicts 3.6% GDP growth, 4.7% export growth
Jul 23 2017 >> Employment office to consider relaxing restricted occupations
Jul 14 2017 >> Thailand 3rd most competitive country in ASEAN
Jul 9 2017 >> New regulations for migrant workers delayed 6 months
Jul 1 2017 >> PM urges measures to soften strict new punishments on illegal foreign workers
Jun 25 2017 >> New 10 year retirement visa takes effect
Jun 10 2017 >> New forex regulations to ease investment overseas and FET requirements
Jun 2 2017 >> BOI announces two new categories for special promotion
May 27 2017 >> Thailand in top ten worldwide for social media use
May 20 2017 >> No VAT rise government confirms
May 14 2017 >> Tax deadline for in person payment May 30
May 7 2017 >> Thailand 4.0 and the food industry
Apr 30 2017 >> Bangkok most visited city in Asia Pacific
Apr 22 2017 >> DBD withdraws over 5,000 juristic persons from database
Apr 15 2017 >> Cabinet announces two new public holidays
Apr 8 2017 >> BOI promotions for EEC include 50 percent corporate income tax reduction
Apr 1 2017 >> BoT revises 2017 GDP upward
Mar 24 2017 >> Government considering 50 year property leases for foreigners
Mar 17 2017 >> Food exports up 6 percent year on year
Mar 11 2017 >> Consumer Confidence up for 3rd month in a row
Mar 3 2017 >> Government moving to clear patent back log in 3 months
Feb 25 2017 >> New tax rates for expats and researchers in EEC
Feb 18 2017 >> New income tax rates applied for 2017 income
Feb 11 2017 >> New tax incentives for tech and jewelry industries
Feb 4 2017 >> Government to speed up free trade pact negotiations with the UK
Jan 28 2017 >> Tax incentive for private sector investment extended
Jan 21 2017 >> Enhanced tax incentives at digital park opening next year
Jan 15 2017 >> New regulations for online purchases proposed
Jan 7 2017 >> Longer stays for tourists in 2016
Dec 31 2016 >> Tourism revenues grow in fourth quarter
Dec 23 2016 >> GDP expected to grow 3.2% in 2017

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