Public hearing on digital asset tax proposal

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha


Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered the Revenue Department to clarify the proposed digital asset tax measure following widespread public criticisms.


Mr Ekniti Nithithanprapas, director-general of the Revenue Department said the agency is consulting with Bank of Thailand, Securities Exchange Commission and Stock Exchange of Thailand and there will be a public hearing on the issue.


The proposed tax measure will be completed by the end of this month, he said, adding that the measure will be fair and fit the current context of digital assets.  


The government will ensure that the proposed tax on profits on trading of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets will be appropriate and up-to-date.   


He said over the past one year, investment and trading of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in Thailand have increased sharply, but this phenomenon is new for both taxpayers and the Revenue Department.


According to Mr Ekniti, the agency has conducted studies and research into this issue.  He said the agency will ensure it will adopt the taxpayer-centric approach on digital asset tax collection.


Meanwhile, Topp Jirayut Srupsrisopa, CEO of Bitkub Group, the country’s largest licensed cryptocurrency exchange platform, said his company has already got more than 4,000 opinions on the controversial digital asset tax proposal within 24 hours. 


Based on one of the opinions, the government should consider using a progressive tax rate system instead of a flat rate of 15% as suggested by the Revenue Department earlier.   Initial tax rates may start at 2%,3%,5% and so on.


Jirayut said the current Thai law on the definition of money, enacted in 1932, is outdated and cannot catch up the development of today’s digital assets and cryptocurrencies.  Digital assets are intangible and can be traded  so they are like securities.  Under the Thai securities law, traders are  exempt from paying capital gain taxes.


According to Jirayut, the government should promote new technology and innovation for national development, so it should not impose taxes now.  However, if there are new taxes, the system should be equitable to all parties concerned and should be clear and predictable.


He said  Bitkub group is helping develop the country’s Web 3.0 ecosystem for decentralized finance and other infrastructures so the government should adopt a national policy suitable for promoting competitiveness, GDP growth, overseas talent acquisition, foreign investment fund.