Thai Bits: Many Global Websites Have Become Thai VAT payers, Still Low Demand For Hotels Due To COVID-19

About 20 Large International Websites Will Start Paying Thai VAT

Around 20 large overseas online platform operators plan to register as value-added tax (VAT) payers in Thailand, according to the director-general of the Revenue Department Ekniti Nitithanprapas.
The move follows the enforcement of the e-service tax law from Sept. 1, which will require overseas businesses providing online services in Thailand to register for 7% VAT liability if their annual income exceeds 1.8 million baht.
Businesses providing download services for movies, games, stickers, brokerage services, and advertisinHotel demand in the U.S. remains weak due to the steady rise in new infections, forcing hoteliers to hope for a big reopening scheme for foreign visitors to add to travel demand.
Domestic tourist arrivals to Phuket, Krabi, and Phangnga have dropped sharply as a result of stricter travel restrictions to contain the outbreak, said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association (THA).
The Phuket sandbox scheme, which attracted around 10,000 tourists in the first month, had a limited impact given that the island is used to welcoming one million tourists a month. The hotel industry is looking forward to an improved situation starting in October.
Phuket’s 7+7 sandbox extension, which will allow tourists to stay for seven days before visiting other islands, will bring more travelers and income to the Andaman islands, Kongsak said.
If the reopening plan moves forward and Thailand can control the outbreak more effectively, leading to the EU placing Thailand back on the safe travel list, we could see a surge of 20-30% in demand by the end of the year, he said.
The occupancy rate for Samui Plus reopenings in June dropped to 6.64% amid the latest outbreak, according to Ruengnam Chaikwang, president of THA’s southern chapter for the east coast.
Tourists are deterred by the quarantine requirement of spending seven days in quarantine facilities, Ruengnam said. If the quarantine requirement is not lifted, travel agents are hesitant to launch marketing campaigns.
According to THA’s eastern chapter president Phisut Sae-Khu, Chon Buri’s recent downgrade to a dark red zone led to a collapse of domestic tourism.
He urged the government to accelerate its vaccination plan for “Pattaya Moves On” since only 20% of the target population has been vaccinated. According to Phisut, operators are negotiating with the Chon Buri Provincial Public Health Office to procure 50,000-60,000 vaccine doses for frontline tourism workers.
The reopening plan set for Sept 1, 2021, “Charming Chiang Mai”, is also facing a vaccine shortage, according to La-Iad Bungsrithong, president of THA’s northern chapter. Currently, only 18% of residents are vaccinated. g are liable for VAT payments.
According to him, the department has already developed an online portal for operators to register and pay for VAT easily.
Ekniti said that most foreign online businesses are compliant with the law.
As a result of the pandemic shifting traffic to online platforms, the department expects the tax revenue from the e-service levy to exceed 5 billion baht per year.
Operators estimate how much tax they should pay under the tax law.
Through international cooperation among countries on tax payment records, the department examines their VAT payment after an audit.
Approximately 60 countries have adopted this e-service tax.
Organic laws in e-service tax law are being pushed by the department.
Details of the organic bills have been approved by the cabinet and are being scrutinized by the Council of State.
A new e-service tax law is part of the country’s ongoing tax reform to increase revenue and ensure fair treatment for all.

Phuket Sandbox Plan Did Not Help Demand For Hotels
Hotel demand in the U.S. remains weak due to the steady rise in new infections, forcing hoteliers to hope for a big reopening scheme for foreign visitors to add to travel demand.
Domestic tourist arrivals to Phuket, Krabi, and Phangnga have dropped sharply as a result of stricter travel restrictions to contain the outbreak, said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association (THA).
The Phuket sandbox scheme, which attracted around 10,000 tourists in the first month, had a limited impact given that the island is used to welcoming one million tourists a month. The hotel industry is looking forward to an improved situation starting in October.
Phuket’s 7+7 sandbox extension, which will allow tourists to stay for seven days before visiting other islands, will bring more travelers and income to the Andaman islands, Kongsak said.
If the reopening plan moves forward and Thailand can control the outbreak more effectively, leading to the EU placing Thailand back on the safe travel list, we could see a surge of 20-30% in demand by the end of the year, he said.
The occupancy rate for Samui Plus reopenings in June dropped to 6.64% amid the latest outbreak, according to Ruengnam Chaikwang, president of THA’s southern chapter for the east coast.
Tourists are deterred by the quarantine requirement of spending seven days in quarantine facilities, Ruengnam said. If the quarantine requirement is not lifted, travel agents are hesitant to launch marketing campaigns.
According to THA’s eastern chapter president Phisut Sae-Khu, Chon Buri’s recent downgrade to a dark red zone led to a collapse of domestic tourism.
He urged the government to accelerate its vaccination plan for “Pattaya Moves On” since only 20% of the target population has been vaccinated. According to Phisut, operators are negotiating with the Chon Buri Provincial Public Health Office to procure 50,000-60,000 vaccine doses for frontline tourism workers.
The reopening plan set for Sept 1, 2021, “Charming Chiang Mai”, is also facing a vaccine shortage, according to La-Iad Bungsrithong, president of THA’s northern chapter. Currently, only 18% of residents are vaccinated.

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