ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai tax breaks for MAI listing
The main attraction for companies that go public could be a corporate income tax rate of 20 percent or 25 percent, he told operators of listed companies on the MAI yesterday. A subcommittee of the Capital Market Development Committee is expected to recommend the new terms by March, he added.
The government earlier cut corporate income tax for SMEs that listed on the MAI to 20 percent from the normal 30 percent rate, but that incentive has expired now.
Mr. Korn listed SMEs had asked the ministry to reintroduce tax relief either on a permanent basis or extend the measures for a certain period.
The more small businesses that were listed, he said, the better it would be for the government. The reason is that companies listing on the stock market must meet proper accounting standards, so their tax payments are transparent.
Many small businesses avoid going public because the requirement to upgrade accounting standards could expose tax evasion.
The ministry estimates that about 2,000 small businesses have potential to list on the MAI, which currently has only 71 companies listed.
Officials have questioned whether tax incentives work, since the previous round of corporate tax cuts did not attract many companies.SME operators countered that the earlier tax incentives were introduced at a time when the economy was weak, so there were not many listings in any case. With a current healthy economy, more companies might be interested.
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