Thailand e-Books VAT
Update | May 2015
On 1 May 2015, Royal Decree No 585 was gazetted and puts into effect the Government's resolution to exempt sales of newspapers, magazines and textbooks in the electronic form (e-Books) from VAT.
Tax Insight | January 2015
Ever since the VAT law was introduced in Thailand on 01 January 1992, Section 81(1)(f) of the Revenue Code has prescribed, "sales of newspapers, magazines and textbooks" are exempt from VAT.
But notwithstanding that prescription, the Thailand Revenue Department (including both the Department's tax audit officers and the Department's tax lawyers) added the words "but only when sold in the paper form" into the Section 81(1)(f) law.
That is, throughout the whole of the technological evolution of mediums moving from paper to cassettes, then to CDs, DVDs and VCDs, and now to the electronic (eBook) mediums, the Thailand Revenue Department officers maintained that Section 81(1)(f) only exempts sales of newspapers, magazines and textbooks from VAT when sold in the paper form. When sold in another form, they said, the seller is providing a service, and therefore the seller is subject to VAT, which requires the seller to charge VAT to a buyer and pay that VAT to the Revenue Department.
On 30 December 2014, the Military-appointed Government rectified this archaic thinking by resolving to issue a new Royal Decree law that will specifically prescribe VAT exemption for sales of newspapers, magazines and textbooks in the electronic (eBook) form.
This is a general information Tax Insight Article only. It should not be used to determine any matter without consulting with an experienced Thailand tax advisor.