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Government poised to cast tax net over online transactions

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Government poised to cast tax net over online transactions | The Thaiger

As the world continues its relentless move online, and away from traditional retail, governments are having to find new ways to track and tax online transactions.

The Thai Revenue Department is poised to cast a wider net over online vendors and other businesses that have been evading taxes. The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is soon to approve amendments to the Revenue Code.

The amendment, which won 139 votes out of the 240-member NLA, will require banks and other financial institutions to report money transfers worth more than 2 million baht per recipient, per year, to tax authorities.

The Nation is reporting that the Deputy Finance Minister Wisut Srisuphan says the amendments will help the Revenue Department collect taxes for goods and services sold online, as sellers have been evading tax payment due to the use of electronic money transfers.

According to the proposed amendments, banks will have to report transfers totalling more than 400 transactions and worth over 2 million baht per year to the Revenue Department so authorities can investigate to see if these vendors paid taxes properly.

The Revenue Department had found it difficult to levy income and other taxes on e-commerce sites and online vendors due to a lack of information.

Most online vendors are individuals with no physical outlets, who sell their products via social and digital platforms. Buyers generally transfer money for the goods via banks’ electronic payment service, so authorities have found it difficult to follow up on tax collection.

According to the Revenue Department’s data, Thailand has 10.7 million citizens aged 30-39, of which 8.2 million are salaried workers, while the rest are self-employed. However, a large number of the self-employed do not pay taxes.

Thailand also has some 640,000 enterprises registered as ‘juristic persons’, of which only about 420,000 have filed tax returns.

But some NLA members are voicing opposition to the amendments, citing potential negative effects on other people, including NLA members, who themselves receive their meeting allowances via bank transfers.

Voraphol Sokatiyanuluk, an NLA member, said there were already other laws that empowered the Revenue Department to investigate tax evaders, so this amendment was unnecessary.

He added that the new requirements put additional burdens on financial institutions, as they will have to report transactions to the authorities.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Nation



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Company rolls out new computers for Chiang Mai school

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Company rolls out new computers for Chiang Mai school | The Thaiger

Top executives from Thailand property development company Boutique Corporation recently visited the Intanon Wittaya School in Chiang Mai and presented them with ten desktop computers to the school.

Inthanon Wittaya School is located in Amphur Mae Jam, 111.2 kilometers from Chiang Mai, with 192 kindergarten and primary school students. The school offers a computer class but only had 11 computers available in the classroom before the donation.

Some of the students plan to participate in a computer competition, for which they had an inadequate number of computers with which to practice and prepare. Hearing of this, Boutique Corporation PCL chose Inthanon Wittaya School for its 2018 corporate social responsibility activity.

Mr. Chatchawan Wisetkhoon, the director of Intanon Wittaya School, said, “We thank Boutique Corporation for donating these computers. Inthanon Wittaya School is very grateful. Through teaching and learning activities, our school will use the computers for the maximum benefit of our students.”

The presentation was made by Prabsharan Thakral, President and Group CEO; Ekanut Ungphakorn, Chief Operating Officer; Nattaya Huatsoontorn, Chief Financial Controller; and Pornpimol Chaichanakajorn, Senior Vice President – HR Business Partner.

President and Group CEO Prabsharan Thakral commented, “Boutique Corporation PCL appreciates this opportunity to support Thailand students. It is essential for them to develop computer skills in preparation for almost any future profession. We’re pleased we can help further their education.”

This is the first donation Boutique Corporation has made to Inthanon Wittaya School. Last year, Boutique made donations to causes including “To Be Number One Under Princess Ubolratana”; the Charity Shield Golf Cup, arranged by the Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities; The Department of the Interior of Krathu District, Phuket Province, to plant marigold flowers for the Royal Ceremony; and the Bowling Charity by CRMC Royal Thai Air Force Alumni.

Boutique Corporation is a leading asset developer in Thailand. The group currently operates hospitality assets under the brands Citadines, Oakwood, and its self-managed brand Journeyhub. The group is expanding its hospitality development platform across Thailand; in particular, in Pattaya, Phuket, and Chiang Mai; where Novotel Chiang Mai Nimman Journeyhub is already confirmed.

Company rolls out new computers for Chiang Mai school | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Burn baby burn – The Netflix cash strategy to stay on top

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Burn baby burn – The Netflix cash strategy to stay on top | The Thaiger

Netflix, the online TV streaming service, is gaining more viewers in the US and around the world, but is burning through astonishing amounts of cash in producing new content.

In 2018 Netflix churned through $3 billion in losses. Negative cash flow that accelerated to $1.3 billion in Q4, more than double the year before.

But it’s all a part of a plan according to Netflix. They claim they expect to burn through another $3 billion this year as well. This year’s plan is to make more original content, do more marketing, particularly outside the US and add even more subscribers.

On the plus side, Netflix continues to rapidly add new subscribers to its streaming platform and revenue continues to climb sharply.

Their intention is to keep the accelerator pedal down with spending and adding new subscribers to make it increasingly difficult for new streaming businesses to to get traction and reach critical market mass.

But CNN business reports that the business model can’t last forever.

Statista.com says, according to their calculations, Netflix will have more than 546 thousand subscribers in Thailand by 2020.

Neil Begley, Moody’s senior vice president says “It’s not sustainable.”

“Strategically, Netflix is doing all the right things. But they’ve layered over that a level of financial risk that would make a lot of people uncomfortable.”

Burn baby burn - The Netflix cash strategy to stay on top | News by The Thaiger
GRAPH: CNN International
Despite the accelerated spending spree, investors seem unfazed. Netflix shares dropped 3% on Thursday’s stock market but this is just a blip in their 26% rise in the first half month’s trading of 2019.

But Netflix says they’re addressing the income side of the business as well with a rise in subscription charges for its US subscribers.

The streaming service added a 8.8 million new paid subscribers in Q4, 2018, even topping their own forecasts. Netflix now has 139 million paying members, up from 110 million at the start of 2018.

This equates to around 10% of total US screen time, a massive and growing slice of total eyeballs, cutting into the revenues of broadcast and cable services. And they’re growing their business without any advertising revenue.

Netflix say that they will slow the cash-burn down after 2019 and expects to fund more of its production from rising subscriber income in the future. Moody’s agrees and Begley expects Netflix to break even on cash flows by about 2023.
Read more about the Netflix ‘grand plan’ in the CNN report HERE.

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BOI approves new rail services, new port investment

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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BOI approves new rail services, new port investment | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Duangjai Asawachintachit, BOI secretary general

The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) has laid out strategies to boost the development of rail services and the country’s cruise tourism.

Duangjai Asawachintachit, BOI secretary general, says the latest BOI meeting chaired by the Prime Minister had resolved to instigate measures to attract investment in rail development and related infrastructure for continued economic growth.

According to Duangjai, investment projects for rail development and related sectors will be entitled to a tax break of 50% for the first three to five years of investment.

The BOI also approved measures to stimulate the cruise tourism business, with the aim of attracting more tourists to the kingdom.

Moreover, the BOI has introduced a plan to attract aerospace investment to U-Tapao Airport in 2019 as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project, as the EEC Office is planning to develop an “Aerotropolis” which will stretch over 30 kilometers from the airport.

Additionally, the meeting endorsed the 7-year strategic investment promotion plan, spanning 2015 to 2021, which it is anticipated will contribute 418 billion baht to the country’s GDP.

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