Asia Pacific

Thailand to start collecting tax from foreign tech firms

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Google is seen at the high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech,in Paris, France May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

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BANGKOK, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Thailand on Wednesday will start collecting value added tax (VAT) from foreign technology companies and expects to raise at least 5 billion baht ($154.70 million) in additional revenue each year, a senior official said.

Foreign platforms providing electronic services in Thailand will have to register for VAT payments, senior finance ministry official, Ekniti Nitithanpraphas, told reporters.

So far 69 companies have registered from a target 100, according to Ekniti.

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The companies are divided into five categories including platforms getting income from e-commerce and advertising like Facebook (FB.O) and Google (GOOGL.O), intermediaries such as ride-hailing app Grab have and streaming services such as Netflix (NFLX.O), he added.

Companies with revenue of over 1.8 million baht will have pay VAT of 7%, which has to be paid every month, he said.

The ministry's target of 5 billion baht of additional revenue is a minimum because that goal was derived before the pandemic.

Thailand collects about 800 billion baht annually from VAT.

Last week, the government approved an extension of the current 7% VAT rate until September 2023. The VAT rate has been at 7% since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

($1 = 32.3200 baht)

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Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng Editing by Ed Davies

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