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MAR 15, 2024

Thailand approves crypto income tax exemption

by CoinNess Global

In a move aimed at boosting the Web3 sector, the adoption of investment tokens and the enhancement of startup financing, the Thai government recently approved a tax break for individuals holding such tokens.

Incentivizing crypto-based fundraising

The decision, reported by local media as having been made on March 12, signifies a significant step towards incentivizing the use of investment tokens for fundraising purposes. Under the new regulations, capital gains derived from holding investment tokens will be exempt from personal income tax calculations.
This exemption applies even if a 15% withholding tax had previously been deducted. The endorsement of this tax break by Thailand's cabinet underscores the government's interest in fostering economic growth and enhancing investment opportunities in the region.
Kulaya Tantitemit, Director-General of Thailand's Revenue Department, emphasized the strategic importance of these tax measures, which have been made retrospectively effective from Jan. 1. The initiative is expected to stimulate fundraising activities through investment tokens, injecting vitality into the economy and paving the way for increased investment and job creation.
However, it's worth noting that the tax break will only apply to individuals who refrain from seeking full or partial refunds of the deducted tax or claiming a deducted tax credit. Additionally, the government has extended tax incentives to investment token issuers, waiving corporate income tax as announced on March 7.Last month, the Thai Finance Ministry announced the exemption of digital asset trading activity from value-added tax (VAT). The VAT exemption is similarly designed to encourage the use of digital assets as an alternative fundraising mechanism.

Potential $3.7B boost

Deputy Government Spokesman Rachada Dhnadirek highlighted the significance of this move in diversifying fundraising avenues for firms, complementing traditional methods. The government anticipates that investment tokens will contribute approximately $3.7 billion to the economy over the next two years.
While the recent tax break signals a positive step towards fostering a crypto-friendly environment in Thailand, the country's approach to crypto taxation has faced scrutiny from industry stakeholders in the past.
Efforts by the Thai Revenue Department to tighten oversight and impose taxes on cryptocurrency trading were met with resistance from industry players concerned about the potential stifling effect on the sector's growth. In January 2022, the government's proposal to impose a 15% capital gains tax on crypto traders drew significant public backlash, leading to its suspension on Feb. 1 of the same year.
Despite these challenges, Thailand has demonstrated a willingness to adapt its regulatory framework to accommodate the burgeoning crypto industry. Measures such as exempting traders on authorized exchanges from a 7% value-added tax (VAT) on crypto transactions, announced on March 8, 2022, underscore the government's efforts to create a conducive environment for crypto-related activities.
The political backdrop in Thailand more recently is likely to be aiding the country in taking a more progressive stance where crypto is concerned. Last year, the country elected Srettha Thavisin as Prime Minister. In a prior role as CEO of real estate developer Sansiri, Thavisin oversaw the company’s involvement in digital asset-related activities. In January, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) removed the investment ceiling imposed on retail investors relative to participation in initial coin offerings (ICOs).
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