Excise tax collection up on robust car, beer sales

Car and beer sales are recovering vigorously, resulting in a surge of excise tax revenue collection by the Excise Department from the two products for the first five months of fiscal 2021.

Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the Excise Department, said the overall economy has gradually recovered as reflected by the department’s tax revenue collection in the first five months of fiscal 2021 (October 2020-February 2021) which tallied 233 billion baht.

Despite a 9.44% year-on-year decrease from the same period of the previous fiscal year, Mr Lavaron said the department’s tax revenue collection remained 1.12% higher than the revised target.

The largest sources of excise tax as a percentage of the total excise revenue in fiscal 2020 were fuel (41%), automobiles (15.5%), beer (14.5%), liquor (11%), tobacco (11%) and beverage (4.5%).

In the first five months of this fiscal year, automobiles contributed 43 billion baht to excise tax revenue, 17.43% higher than the department’s target, with beer providing 36.1 billion baht, 4.20% higher than the department’s target.

Nonetheless, tax revenue collection from the four other key products — fuel, liquor, tobacco and beverage — remained in the red, with fuel dropping 4.13%; liquor down 0.78%; tobacco down 2.58% and beverage 12.53% lower than the target.

Nevertheless, Mr Lavaron remains upbeat about the prospects of revenue collection from fuel in the second half of the year, noting higher demand for fuel is anticipated thanks to more active domestic travel once the country has further re-opened.

He said he also still believes that the department’s tax revenue collection in fiscal 2021 could fare slightly better than 548 billion baht worth of the revised target.

Regarding the new excise tax structure for electric vehicles (EVs), Mr Lavaron said he still believes Thailand will take time to transition from petrol-fuelled vehicles to EVs.

However, he said the Excise Department is taking into account the overall vehicle tax structure and is ready to rejig the existing excise tax structure for the car segment the government wants to promote more intensely.

Earlier in January, Mr Lavaron said the excise tax structure for EVs is expected to be finalised this year, aimed at establishing Thailand as an EV hub.

Under the current excise tax structure, EVs are tax-exempt from Jan 1, 2020, to Dec 31, 2022, for car makers granted Board of Investment privileges, with the rates levied at 2% after 2022.

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