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Monday, December 15, 2014   Source - Bangkok Post



Legal amendments to change the excise tax base across the board to state-recommended retail prices from ex-factory prices will top the cabinet's discussion tomorrow.

If the amended law gets the green light, the Excise Department will be able to charge the tax for both local and imported products at a single base, a source at the Finance Ministry said.

The new law could prevent operators from understating their ex-factory prices to pay less excise tax and foster fairness as the Asean Economic Community (AEC) kicks off at the end of next year. At present, some importers declare ex-factory prices 10-20% lower locally-made products.

To pave the way for the new tax calculation structure, seven laws will be integrated into a single issue to standardise and make the tax levy easier, the source said.

They are the Liquor Act of 1950, the Tobacco Act of 1966, the Playing Card Act of 1943, the Excise Tariff Act of 1984, the Excise Tax Act of 1984, the Allocation of Excise Tax Act of 1984 and the Allocation of Liquor Tax Act of 1984.

The state-recommended retail price will be set by the Excise Department, which will also take the market price into account.

The proposed excise tax restructuring is part of the Finance Ministry's comprehensive tax reform.

The Excise Department's director-general Somchai Poolsavasdi said the change aimed to create fairness for local manufacturers as a flood of products imported from other Southeast Asian countries are expected once the AEC comes into effect.

"When the single market is unveiled, the number of consumers will be 500-600 million. Even though the excise tax levy depends on each country, the tax charge should be in the same direction once the AEC takes shape," he said.

"If we can push amendment of the law... problems of understating the exfactory price of imported products will be addressed, while we are not breaking any GATT agreement and the new tax structure is able to serve free trade under the AEC."

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