FEB 8, 2024
Thailand makes crypto trading VAT-free to boost digital economy
In a significant move to propel Thailand towards becoming a digital asset hub, the Finance Ministry has announced the exemption of value-added tax (VAT) on digital asset trading.
According to the Bangkok Post, the decision became effective on Jan. 1. It aims to foster the growth of the digital asset industry and support the country’s growing digital economy.
Paopoom Rojanasakul, secretary to the finance minister, underscored the ministry’s commitment to promoting digital assets as a viable fundraising tool. By suspending the requirement to pay 7% VAT on income derived from cryptocurrency and digital token trading, authorities seek to encourage investment in the digital asset market.
This VAT exemption extends beyond authorized digital asset exchanges to include brokers and dealers under the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The move aligns with Thailand’s ambition to position itself as the region’s premier digital asset hub.
Moreover, the Finance Ministry and SEC are actively amending the 2019 Securities and Exchange Act to enhance regulations concerning digital investment tokens, bringing them more in line with securities.
Attracting offshore digital asset sector investment
Thailand’s attractiveness to offshore digital asset investors has grown substantially in recent years. The new tax policies are poised to further bolster the country’s position in the global digital asset market.
Last month, the Thai SEC adjusted the rules governing digital token investments, raising the investment ceiling that had been imposed on retail investors where initial coin offerings (ICOs) relative to infrastructure and real estate are concerned.
Furthermore, the Commission has updated criteria for custodial wallet provider businesses, enabling them to extend their services to digital asset business operators, thereby facilitating smoother operations within the digital asset ecosystem.
However, Mr. Paopoom emphasized the importance of balancing development with financial stability. While fostering innovation in the digital asset sector, the government remains mindful of safeguarding the integrity of the financial system.
Despite these advancements, the SEC has made it clear that it will not permit the trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Thailand. This decision contrasts with the recent approval of bitcoin ETFs in the United States and moves towards approving crypto ETFs in Hong Kong, reflecting Thailand’s cautious approach to cryptocurrency-related financial products.
Nevertheless, Thailand continues to attract global crypto exchanges, with industry giants such as Binance establishing a presence in the country. Last month, Binance announced the launch of crypto exchange services to the general public in Thailand through Gulf Binance, a joint venture with Thailand’s Gulf Innova.
The VAT exemption on digital asset trading represents a pivotal step in Thailand’s journey towards embracing the digital economy. With supportive regulatory measures and a dynamic market environment, Thailand aims to take its place as a leading player in digital assets.