Thailand government to clear up crypto tax confusion

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The Thai revenue department will expedite tax criteria as traders and businesses seek further clarity.

Thailand is fast-tracking its crypto tax plans as it readies regulations for digital asset traders this month in an effort to provide further clarity on crypto-related activities.

The Thai revenue department’s director-general has stated that clear criteria for calculating taxes on crypto trading profits will be finalized this month.

The statement comes less than a week after the Southeast Asian country’s government unveiled plans to levy cryptocurrency traders and miners with a 15% capital gains tax.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had instructed the revenue department to brainstorm the issue and provide clarification for investors and the public according to a Jan. 11 Bangkok Post article.

The department has already been in discussion with the Bank of Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

On Jan. 9 the Thai Digital Asset Association contacted the revenue department seeking clarity on capital gains and withholding taxes according to local media. Association President Suppakrit Boonsat said:

“Most cryptocurrency investors are ready to pay tax but are concerned whether their move will violate the Revenue Code,”

The concern among some traders is that back taxes or penalties may be applied to profits and trades conducted in previous years. 

A government spokeswoman said there was no intention to hinder innovation and development in any industry, including fintech but warned that “If we rush to support [crypto trading] without a thorough understanding, there may be a crypto crisis, similar to a financial crisis.”

The new tax would only be applicable to profits from traders and miners, not Thai digital asset exchanges, the largest of which are affiliated with commercial banks and billionaire business moguls. Heavy penalties could be imposed on those failing to comply with the new filing requirements. 

Related: Central bank tells Thai banks not to offer crypto trading

The move follows a number of Thai central bank warnings to commercial banks and businesses regarding the acceptance of digital assets as payment methods.

In December, the Bank of Thailand stated that it would draw up new measures to regulate crypto-related activities for individuals and businesses in what it termed “red lines” for the industry.

However, the increased regulatory pressure on the industry goes against the Kingdom’s tourism ministry which aims to attract crypto whales and digital nomads to the country to help revive its pandemic battered tourism sector.

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