Thailand plans e-commerce tax next year

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand expects to introduce a value-added-tax on electronic businesses next year, aiming to collect between 3 billion to 4 billion baht ($98 million to $131 million) a year, an official said on Monday, tapping a boom in e-commerce in the country.

The tax is expected to seek parliamentary approval this year, Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director-general of the Revenue Department, told reporters, without elaborating.

E-commerce is surging in Thailand where entrepreneurs sell products directly to customers via Facebook, Instagram and messaging apps like Japan's Line Corp 3938.T.

Driven by upgrades to mobile banking apps, sales via social media in Thailand more than doubled to 334.2 billion baht ($10.92 billion) in 2017, according to the latest report from the country’s Electronic Transaction Development Agency.

Ekniti said the government is targeting overall tax revenue of 2 trillion baht in the current fiscal year to Sept. 30, and rising to 2.116 trillion baht in the next fiscal year.

Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore