November 24, 2021
Thailand amends Revenue Code to facilitate international exchange of tax information
Thailand’s Revenue Code Amendment Act (No.54) B.E. 2564 (2021) (the Amendment) was published in the Royal Gazette on 8 November 2021 (effective 9 November 2021), to accommodate the ratification process of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (the MAC), which Thailand signed on 3 June 2020.
The MAC empowers tax officials to exchange tax information with other jurisdictions which are party to the MAC (MAC jurisdictions). As the next step, Thailand is expected to deposit the instrument of ratification during December 2021. With this development, Thailand is also expected to be removed from Annex II of the European Union (EU) list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes (the List), when the List is next updated in early 2022.
This Alert provides an update on Thailand’s ratification process of the MAC.
The Amendment was made specifically to accommodate the ratification process of the MAC in Thailand. The purpose of the MAC is to extend the information exchange network to all MAC jurisdictions (144 jurisdictions as of September 2021) and to ultimately help tax authorities worldwide to integrate and synchronize their data and information, in line with the objectives of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS),1 as well as the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
The Amendment empowers the Director-General of the Thailand Revenue Department to exchange tax information, for the purpose of combatting tax avoidance, with other jurisdictions under Double Tax Avoidance Agreements or other similar agreements (including the MAC) to which Thailand is, or is going to be, a counterparty.
Thailand has been included on the List since 2017 due to its non-compliance with the EU’s tax transparency and fair taxation criteria. In response, Thailand abolished its previous tax incentivized headquarter regimes, i.e., ROH I (Regional Operating Headquarters I), ROH II (Regional Operating Headquarters II), IHQ (International Headquarters) and ITC (International Trading Centers) since 2019 to be compliant with the EU’s fair taxation criterion. Additionally, Thailand had committed to sign and ratify the MAC in order to comply with the tax transparency criterion, so that Thailand could be eventually removed from the List.
Timeline for deposit of the instrument of ratification
As noted, Thailand is expected to submit the instrument of ratification of the MAC during December 2021, which is viewed as the final stage of the MAC ratification process.
Thailand will be automatically eligible to exchange tax information with all MAC jurisdictions upon the MAC entering into force. The MAC would enter into force for Thailand on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the deposit of its instrument of ratification.
With this development, Thailand is expected to be removed from the EU’s List in early 2022. More specific details relevant to the Amendment will be subsequently published in ancillary laws and announcements.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
EY Corporate Services Limited, Bangkok
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Thai Tax Desk, New York
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Asia Pacific Business Group, New York
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Asia Pacific Business Group, Chicago