Thailand is planning to tax overseas income, including from crypto trading, the Bangkok Post reported on 19 September.
Among those the new law targets are individuals residing in the country who trade in foreign stock markets through foreign brokerages, cryptocurrency traders, and local citizens with offshore accounts.
The Revenue Department of Thailand ruled that a person who resides in Thailand for up to 180 days a year and earns overseas income needs to file personal income tax, as per Section 48 of the Revenue Code. The new rule will be effective beginning 1 January 2024.
Previously, Thailand taxed only overseas income remitted to Thailand in the year of earning.
An anonymous Finance Ministry source told the Bangkok Post,
“The principle of tax is that you must pay tax on income you earn from abroad no matter how you earn it and regardless of the tax year in which the money is earned.”
It appears that crypto tax is a major concern for authorities in Thailand.
FTX and other disasters lead to stricter policy
As far as its recent actions suggest, Thailand is pursuing a strict regulation policy around cryptocurrency.
In April last year, the Southeast Asian country prohibited the usage of crypto as a mode of payment. It mandated that customers can invest in crypto only as an asset.
In January 2023, the Thai regulator issued a new set of crypto regulations for crypto custodians in the wake of the collapse of Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX [FTT] in November 2022. One of the measures required crypto platforms to furnish a contingency plan in case an unforeseen event puts the assets at risk.
In July, the Thai regulator banned crypto exchanges from providing lending services. It also mandated a trading risks disclaimer associated with crypto trading that must be clearly visible to the customers.
In August, a wealthy business tycoon Srettha Thavisin was appointed as the Prime Minister of the country. During the election campaign, Thavisin had promised an “airdrop” worth $300 to every Thai citizen aged 16 and above.
Prior to entering politics, Thavisin was the CEO of Thailand’s leading real estate firm, Sansiri. The company holds a 15% share in the crypto-friendly platform, XSpring Capital. Through XSpring, Sansiri began issuing a crypto token, SiriHub Token, in 2021. Thavisin let go of his corporate responsibilities as he entered politics.
Last week, Chainalysis put Thailand on the tenth position in its 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index.
It will be interesting to observe the direction in which Thailand pursues its crypto policies, given that the country has a pro-crypto leader and has adopted to crypto pretty well.