VAT refund ceiling raised and new airports to be added

The Revenue Department has announced plans to raise the ceiling for value-added tax (VAT) refunds for tourists at downtown agents to 30,000 baht per traveler from 12,000 baht that is now currently refunded. Cash payment services for VAT refunds will be expanded to 10 international airports instead of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports; Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Krabi, Samui, U-tapao and Surat Thani. Downtown booths that were a test run for the past year showed greater numbers of tourists requesting VAT refunds; claimants must depart from Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang airports within 14 days of the downtown VAT refund claim. Goods must be taken out of the country within 60 days of the date of purchase. To be eligible to claim a VAT refund, foreign tourists must spend at least 2,000 baht per store per day and show the goods on departure, those who purchase goods valued at more than 5,000 baht will not be required to show the items.

Lifestyle products are expected to buck the declining trend in exports this year as shipments are expected to grow this year based on higher purchase orders from the US, Japan and China. About five percent of total export value comes from lifestyle products such as furniture, home decor, artificial flowers, perfume, handicrafts, textiles, stationery, office supplies, toys and housewares.

CP will be signing a deal to develop the high speed train connecting Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao airports next week. The signing was delayed after all members of the State Railway of Thailand board stepped down. The signing will go ahead now that new members have been selected. CP leads a consortium with Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc, China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd, Ch Karnchang Plc, and Italian-Thai Development Plc whose bid won the contract in December last year.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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