Thailand to launch tax refund app to boost tourism spending

18, Nov. 2019

BANGKOK, NNT/VNA - Thai Minister of Finance Uttama Savanayana has announced that the government plans to launch a tax refund mobile application by the end of this month in a bid to increase tourism spending.

The Finance Minister said after signing a memorandum of agreement with Krungthai Bank (KTB), that the Ministry would use blockchain technology in three projects, involving the Customs Department, the Revenue Department and the Public Debt Management Office.

Cooperation between the Ministry of Finance and KTB will provide the general public with better access to government services, including value-added tax (VAT) refunds for tourists. The project is being carried out by the Revenue Department, the Customs Department and KTB.

The Refunds app will be launched by the end of this month. The app will encourage more spending by tourists, as they will receive tax refunds faster. At least two million tourists claim a VAT refund annually, on total purchases of 50 billion baht.

The blockchain technology will also encourage people to buy government bonds online. People can buy the bonds via the Bond Direct app, which will also be launched by the end of this year.

Uttama said he had instructed related agencies to finalize the Go Digital strategy within two weeks, so that concrete results can be delivered by the beginning of next year. - VNA