New tax rates for expats and researchers in EEC

New personal income tax incentives for expats and researchers in companies in the Eastern Economic Corridor are set to go before the Cabinet to woo industries and businesses to the zone.  The government is planning on offering a flat 17 percent tax rate in a change from the progressive rate that taxes income 150,001-300,000 baht at 5%, 300,001-500,000 baht at 10%, 500,001-750,000 baht at15%, 750,001 to 1 million at 20%, 1 million to 2 million at 25 %, 2 million to 4 million at 30 percent and over 4 million at 35 percent. The government is hoping the new tax rate will lure foreign experts to work in the EEC zone. The new corridor will run cover Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao. The project will target ten industries; next-generation cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism, affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; and medical services.

Tax incentives are also being offer to individual taxpayers for child allowances, they can now claim allowance deductions for an unlimited number of biological children or up to three foster children under the new personal income tax structure that will be effective for this tax year. The allowance was also doubled from 15,000 to 30,000 baht. The government is working to boost birth rates as the countryís population ages; the number of Thais aged 60 and over is currently 14 percent of the population and is expected to 17.5% in 2020, 21.2% in 2025 and 25.2% in 2030.

The Transport Ministry is speeding up plans to install new Spider cards across mass transit in Bangkok by the middle of the year and in all BMTA buses by September 2017. The Ministry is negotiating with the BMTA about revenue management for the system which includes the budget for installation and investment. The Transport Ministry plans to set up an agency to manage the common ticket system and the private sector will be invited to invest in the project. The private sector is expected to invest in a larger proportion than the public sector. Negotiations should be concluded by March, before services are expected to begin mid-year.

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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