Thai Government Has Come Up With New Stimulus Package For Expats That Creates A New Ten-Year Visa And New Taxes For Alcohol And CIgars

According to the government’s economic stimulus package and investment promotion program, the Customs Department plans to reduce the duty on alcoholic beverages and cigars by 50% for five years.
Director-general Patchara Anuntasilpa said the cuts are in line with the cabinet resolution of Sept 14 concerning plans to revive the post-Covid-19 economy by attracting rich foreigners and highly skilled professionals.
Over the next five years, the scheme is expected to attract more than a million qualified people to Thailand and generate about a trillion baht. Import duties will be lowered as part of the mix.
When staying and working here, the group is expected to spend on average 1 million baht per person per year.
The package includes a 10-year Thai visa for approved special visitors along with their spouses and children, the same income tax rates as Thai citizens, a tax exemption on overseas income, and the right to own property.
Patchara said approximately 30% of products would be affected by the planned cuts, and ministerial regulations will be announced after the changes have been made. The department is also preparing to revise its procedures for customs clearance of personal items for passengers on arrival.
Roengrudee Patanavanicha, a researcher on tobacco control, said the move by the Customs Department caught her off guard because the new excise tax structure for cigarettes will take effect next month.
Cigarettes will be subject to a flat tax rate of 40% regardless of their retail price under the new system.
The new tax could reduce smoking among teenagers and generate revenue for the state.
As a result of high cigarette prices, the smuggling of contraband cigarettes will not increase, she said.
“Lax law enforcement, an inefficient tax system, and tobacco industry intervention contribute to the problem,” she said.

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