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Thailand to tax e-commerce companies from next year: report

Thailand is mulling implementing a value-added-tax (VAT) on electronic businesses next year, with an aim to tap the boom of e-commerce in the country, reports Reuters. The Thai government is hoping to collect between $98 million to $131 million every year courtesy of the VAT, for which it will seek parliamentary approval sometime this year, per the report.

Thailand businesses are selling directly to people over Facebook, Instagram and messaging apps like Japan’s Line Corp. Sales via social media in Thailand more than doubled to $10.92 billion in 2017, according to the report.

Japanese chat app operator Line is set to launch an online grocery service in the country by the end of the year. The service — Line Man Grocery — will allow customers to have food and other items home delivered. In addition, the company is launching Line Shopping, a platform that connects buyers and sellers via chat.

Indonesia had announced a similar tax, but then backtracked on it

Indonesia had announced a similar VAT on e-commerce companies operating in the country in January this year, and it was expected to come into force in April. It also required e-commerce sellers to share data with authorities. However, in May 2019, the government retracted from the tax regulation and revoked it, as it faced pushback from digital companies, according to The Jakarta Post.

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