Malaysians love to travel and one of our favourite places to visit would definitely be Thailand, the Land of Smiles. We go there for the awesome food, friendly people and the cheap shopping. But it looks like things may be more expensive soon!
Well, if you frequent Thailand for their cheap alcohol and relaxing massages, then you should know that the Thai government has recently announced that a new excise tax will officially come into effect on 16 September 2017. This tax act was announced during the National Gazette on 20 March and will affect alcohol, cigarettes, non-alcoholic sugary drinks, massage services, and playing cards among other things.
What does this mean?
Bangkok Post reports that new tax rates for liquor will be based on the degree of alcohol while for cigarettes, it will be based on quantity and value. They are expected to announce the rates on Friday, September 15.
Apparently, the Cabinet has recently approved these new tax rates for alcohol, cigarettes and playing cards!
The previous suggested ceiling excise tax rate for certain products was:
- 5 THB (RM0.63) for a cigarette
- 3,000 THB (RM380) for a litre of beer
- 1,000 THB (RM126) for one service at a massage parlour
- 1,000 THB (RM126) for a square metre of space in a nightclub
- 20 THB (RM2.53) per litre of carbonated soft drinks
- 20 THB (RM2.53) for a litre of diesel.
Before you freak out, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the retail price of these items will increase by that amount but it’s actually the highest tax rate that the government can charge. There will be 80 organic laws that will be introduced to keep the amendments of this new law in check, Thai Residents reports.
This new excise tax is supposed to merge seven excise laws into one and replace collecting tax from ex factory price to retail price without VAT. It is actually meant to be fairer for tax payers.
Oh no, does this mean there will be a price increase for these items?
Well, we don’t know for sure because business operators and consumers were assured that they will not be affected much by this new tax rate and urged them not to panic. Yet everyone knows that an increase in tax usually means an increase in price!
The government has also said that one of the major factors for the increased taxes is to discourage consumption of these items. Yes, because alcohol, tobacco and sugary drinks are bad for your health! Time to get healthy when you’re in Thailand, people!
Guess we’ll just have to wait for the new tax to come into effect to know how much more consumers will have to pay for these ‘sinful’ items!
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