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Thai Prime Minister shelves controversial land and buildings tax bill

Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha has held back the controversial land and buildings tax bill, arguing that it is untimely under the current economy.

Boris Sullivan

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Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha has held back the controversial land and buildings tax bill, arguing that it is untimely under the current economy.

Government spokesman Yonyuth Maiyalarp revealed the decision of the prime minister to put on hold the bill saying the bill won’t be table for cabinet consideration next Tuesday. He said the prime minister has ordered the Finance Ministry to hold back the bill indefinitely.

Thailand’s Finance ministry had proposed new rates for land and building taxes earlier this week, which will widen the ceiling tax waiver amount for residences to 1.5 million baht from earlier proposed 1 million baht, in what was seen as a fresh attempt to ease public concern.

Based on the effective tax rates, an estimated 200 billion baht will be collected, up from 25 billion collected under the current local development tax and house and land tax, Finance Minister Sommai Phasee said after meeting with the Committee on Monetary, Finance, Banking and Financial Institutions.

It remains to be seen what effect the government’s aborted attempt to get a new tax on land and housing had on the realty market. Gen Prayut ordered a study to prevent any impact on people, Mr Yongyuth said, adding that how long the tax on land and buildings should be delayed would depend on the overall economy.

Despite the new softened version of the much criticized law, it still raises concerns that home and land owners in areas where land prices are high would be forced to sell their assets to investors when they cannot absorb the tax burden.

The spokesman said that there was no mentioning of timeframe to put the bill on hold while affirming that the decision was not made under pressure by the societies or because the bill received widespread opposition from the public.

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Thailand’s Amendments to Ease Doing Business

Thailand’s government approved new amendments to the country’s Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) aimed at improving the business climate.

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In June 2020, Thailand’s government approved new amendments to the Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) to simplify the process of setting up and conducting business in the country. It is anticipated that the proposed amendments will become law towards the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.

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Thailand Vs Asia: Gambling Laws Comparison

Whereas Singapore and The Philippines have lax gambling laws, Thailand has some of the strictest gambling laws in Southeast Asia. Betting on horse racing and the government-sponsored lottery are the only two forms of legal gambling in the country.

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With the continual development of new technologies improving gambling services, the gambling market is growing rapidly across the globe.

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Thailand’s illegal gambling market

Police in Thailand are tasked with monitoring illegal gambling. Raids regularly take place that result in fines and or jail time for people found to be hosting or playing in illegal gambling events.

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Almost every form of gambling is illegal in Thailand and has been since 1935. But while the neon flashing world of online gambling was still the stuff of science fiction in the prelude to World War Two – when Thailand’s gambling laws were made – the remote sector is still banned in the country.

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