Cabinet backs delay on tax hike for cheap smokes, suspending duties for nightlife venues

Photo: Gerd Altmann
Photo: Gerd Altmann

A planned hike on cheap cigarettes due to come into effect later this year will be postponed, while nightlife and sporting venues may get a break on paying excise duties.

The cabinet agreed to postpone October plans to increase the tax on cigarettes costing under THB60 from 20% to 40% until next year to help tobacco farmers and business owners.

In other news from the excise department, owners of some nightlife, commercial sex and sporting venues may have something to be happy about after the cabinet announced they won’t pay any duties through September on one condition: They don’t fire any employees.

The cabinet agreed yesterday to exempt excise taxes for businesses severely affected by the COVID-19 situation. They included pubs, bars, soapy sex parlors, horse tracks and golf courses.

However, to qualify for the exemption, employers must not have laid off their caddies, cooks, masseuses or waiters.

The move would seem mostly to spare businesses from costly duties paid for alcohol.

The proposals are on their way to the government’s legal auditing agency for evaluation.


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