New income tax rates applied for 2017 income

The government’s new income tax rates were put into place and made retroactive to January 1, 2017 and will mean that middle income earners will have less of a tax burden. Those who earn less than 26,000 baht per month will not be required to pay personal income taxes while the highest bracket of 35 percent has been raised from 4 million baht a year to 5 million baht a year in income. The first 50 percent of annual income is now exempt from tax, up from the previous 40 percent, the amount was capped at 60,000 baht and is now at 100,000 baht. Untaxed personal allowances for single taxpayers increased 60,000 baht from 30,000 baht while spouse allowances were extended from 30,000 baht to 60,000 baht. Allowances for children were raised from 15,000 baht each to 30,000 baht each. The first 150,000 baht of annual income still remains tax free. The new tax structure applies to income earned in 2017 and will be used for filing in 2018.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported that the travel sector accounted for 17.7 percent of GDP last year amounting to 2.51 trillion baht in revenues generated by tourism. Hotels took in the most followed by food and beverage, then land transport, aviation, and entertainment and sports businesses. Last year saw 130,000 people visit the country every day; in January 2017 4.8 million foreigners arrived in Thailand and spent 253 million baht. The top arrival numbers came from China, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Laos. Arrivals spiked during Chinese New Year with 37,000 Chinese visitors arriving daily, the ministry expects 10 million Chinese tourists to visit in 2017. In 2015 tourism accounted for 16.7 percent of GDP and the Ministry predicts it to reach 18 percent in 2017.

The Department of Employment has eased restrictions on migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia employed in the construction and logistics sectors to enable them to work in any province in Thailand apart from their registered residence. This will allow them to take jobs such as long-distance truck drivers. The migrant workers working in another province than their registered one will still need to register at the Provincial Employment Office in their province of residence to obtain the permit to work in another province. Failure to register will result in a maximum fine of 20,000 baht.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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