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Thailand threatens to block global e-commerce websites

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Thailand threatens to block global e-commerce websites

By Wichit Chaitrong 
The Nation

 

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The Revenue Department has threatened to block giant foreign e-commerce websites if they do not pay VAT taxes.

 

Director general Prasong Poonthanet said on Tuesday the department would this month submit a tax bill covering e-commerce to Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong for endorsement before it goes to Cabinet for approval.

 

If the draft law is approved, it will be forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly for debate.

 

Prasong said the department wanted to impose a 7-per-cent value-added tax on goods sold to Thai consumers.

 

The department would seek collaboration from the Digital Economy and Society Ministry in encouraging foreign e-commerce operators to participate in the tax collection system, he said.

 

His comment signalled that Thailand is prepared to block foreign e-commerce websites if they do not pay taxes.

 

Asking whether such operators might attempt to shift the tax burden to Thai consumers, Prasong said if they charged higher prices, consumers would instead buy from local businesses.

 

Currently, he said, foreign e-commerce operators take advantage of a legal loophole by issuing multiple bills for each transaction, none for more than Bt1,500 and thus not subject to taxation.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Startup_and_IT/30340301

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-03-06

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anything I have bought outside Thailand has been subject to import tax and VAT 

 

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4 minutes ago, smedly said:

anything I have bought outside Thailand has been subject to import tax and VAT 

 

Exactly.   Certainly for myself, anything I've bought on-line external to Thailand (and Asean), I've done so because the items weren't available in Thailand.   These companies supply invoice details with the goods, and whether by courier (DHL, Fedex etc) or Thai Post, they always collect the import duty/VAT on delivery.   I should qualify that, couriers are 100%, whereas Thai Post only sometimes.

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Just another way of stopping people from buying outside of Thailand as they only want everyone to be filling the pockets of the Thai Elite.   Freedom of choice is for people living in Democratic Countries, not Military controlled area's still in the Dark Ages.

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Surely the VAT,import taxes should be levied when the goods enter the country,

and has nothing to do with overseas suppliers.

 

How do they propose to block the likes of Ebay,Alibaba,Amazon, etc, with the

great firewall of Thailand. 

regards worgeordie

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The mechanism is already there to impose tax and duty on imported goods. I think what they are upset about is that customers in Thailand (not the suppliers/ecommerce websites per se) are ordering small amounts wherever possible so that the amount for each is under 1,500 baht, thus avoiding having to pay tax. I do this myself. Instead of ordering in bulk at say 6,000 baht once a month, I order small amounts each week just under 1,500 baht. This is perfectly legal.

 

And of course it is nonsense to suggest that if import prices are higher people will buy Thai goods instead. This would apply only like for like. But the fact is that many, many products are not available in Thailand, or are of much inferior quality - such as vitamins and supplements for example.

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Postal parcels coming into Thailand are 'generally' exempt from duty AND taxes if their value < 1,500 Baht.
Your mileage may vary, especially if you use a courier like DHL/FedEx.

Registered Post almost always gets through.

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Amazon is not Thai.  It merely sells products to people in Thailand.  It is absurd to think that it should collect taxes on behalf of the Thai authorities.

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11 minutes ago, mommysboy said:

Amazon is not Thai.  It merely sells products to people in Thailand.  It is absurd to think that it should collect taxes on behalf of the Thai authorities.

Vat is often logical as are import taxes when stuff gets bought from outside of Thailand. This is the same all over the world. 

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2 hours ago, trainman34014 said:

Just another way of stopping people from buying outside of Thailand as they only want everyone to be filling the pockets of the Thai Elite.   Freedom of choice is for people living in Democratic Countries, not Military controlled area's still in the Dark Ages.

Not entirely correct....

In Sweden you have to pay VAT (25%) on everything ordered online (from outside the EU) + customs.

Since more than 5% of all shopping in Sweden is online, it is a lot of parcels...So the couriers and customs have agreed on a levy on 75 SEK (around 300 baht) for all the cheap 'China-parcels'..

And it is the duty of the couriers to collect the VAT and custom fees...for which they receive a fee from the government for acting as tax collectors..

Maybe the way for Thailand to go?    Instead of closing down websites...:whistling:

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Certainly a wise course of action for a country with an economy that is limping along.

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5 minutes ago, JOC said:

And it is the duty of the couriers to collect the VAT and custom fees...for which they receive a fee from the government for acting as tax collectors..

This happens already since long in Thailand.

 

Try to have sent something using DHL or Fedex or alike, without being charged.

 

 

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The Thai government needs money urgently, to pay for the next submarine installments.

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10 hours ago, smedly said:

anything I have bought outside Thailand has been subject to import tax and VAT 

 

 

 

How unlucky you are ! I have imported $10000+ over the years and never paid any tax.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, JOC said:

Not entirely correct....

In Sweden you have to pay VAT (25%) on everything ordered online (from outside the EU) + customs.

Since more than 5% of all shopping in Sweden is online, it is a lot of parcels...So the couriers and customs have agreed on a levy on 75 SEK (around 300 baht) for all the cheap 'China-parcels'..

And it is the duty of the couriers to collect the VAT and custom fees...for which they receive a fee from the government for acting as tax collectors..

Maybe the way for Thailand to go?    Instead of closing down websites...:whistling:

 

It is simply impossible for any government to charge all parcels.

An example ? I often send goods to Sweden, Norway, etc... and never any of my customers had to pay anything !

Small parcels of course.

Anybody thinking that it's possible to tax all parcels really know nothing about the real world. Maybe someone who also think that it's possible to stop drug ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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