Thailand mulls mobile app tax

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Thailand's Revenue Department is considering imposing a tax on purchases of mobile apps, but the roadblocks to such a move may be too great.
 
The government may introduce a value added tax (VAT) on mobile app transactions, the Bangkok Post reported, citing Revenue Department director-general Sutthichai Sangkamanee.
 
But because most mobile app developers operate outside the nation, Thailand would require international agreements to introduce the tax.
 
Thailand also has treaties providing double taxation relief with 55 countries, and a mobile app tax would have to work within these agreements.
 
Another major hurdle is that because apps are purchased online with credit cards, the tax would go to the app developers and app store operators, and there is no international law requiring foreign entities to return VAT to the host country.

The VAT rate on goods and services in Thailand is generally 7%. Thailand's mobile applications and services market will be worth an estimated 15 billion baht ($483.8 million) in 2013.  

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