Entertainment venues in Phuket call for postponement in new excise tax

Entertainment venue operators in Patong, Phuket, are calling on the Excise Department to indefinitely postpone a proposed 11% levy on their businesses, saying the tourism business is bad enough already without any additional government tax grabs.

Entertainment and other businesses on the island have been reporting anecdotal drops in their business between 20-50% this low-season, compared to last year.

The call was made during a meeting on Thursday evening between Area 8 Excise Officials and the entertainment venue operators at the Baumanburi Hotel in Patong.

The Nation reports that Wasin Sitalarom, Phuket’s chief excise officer, and Suree Srisuk, director of the excise office of Area 8, briefed owners on the excise tax proposal.

The officials said the excise law, which was enacted in 1992, has a new provision that has been enforced since September 2017 that requires the Excise Department to levy excise tax on entertainment places at the rate of 11% per year on their revenue.

The officials say the owners of the entertainment places must register their businesses with the department and pay the excise taxes or face fines and additional interest of 7.5% per year.

But the operators of pubs and other entertainment venues argued that they are already paying taxes at the rate of 7% on their revenue. The meeting ended without any resolution. The officials will inform their department of the objections before answering the operators.

Entertainment venues around Thailand are mostly cash business so any attempt levies on income would be open to abuse.

SOURCE: The Nation

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