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Tax perk for property buyers on the cards

Proposed deduction part of stimulus deal

Property buyers are served at the Government Housing Bank on Rama IX Road. (Photo by Pormprom Satrabhaya)

The Revenue Department has proposed a tax deduction for property buyers as part of a seven-measure package to prop up economic growth during the transition to a new government.

Several tax measures for the property sector have been proposed to the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO), said Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director-general of the department.

The Finance Ministry said on Friday an economic stimulus package containing seven measures worth a combined 20 billion baht will seek cabinet approval in two weeks.

The highlights are a tax deduction for domestic tourism spending worth up to 15,000 baht, a tax break on spending to buy uniforms, sports equipment and textbooks for students, a similar subsidy for welfare smartcard holders to help with taking care of parents, and a property measure to boost demand.

The ministry is also considering 1,500-baht cash giveaways to people to pay for products and services related to tourism.

Other aid measures include Student Loan Fund privileges for those studying in fields related to 10 targeted industries, aiming to enhance workforce development in the long run; a tax deduction for book purchases; and allowing operators to claim investment in point-of-sale terminals at 1.5-2 times as an expense to deduct from taxable income.

Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong recently said it is essential for the Finance Ministry to launch stimulus measures because GDP growth is predicted at just above 3% during the first half of 2019. He said enormous resources will be needed to shore up the economy if growth slows to below that level.

The economy is losing steam, dented by the US-China trade spat, which is dealing a blow to global growth, as well as local political uncertainties.

Many research houses and policymakers have cut their forecasts for Thailand's GDP growth this year to 3.8-3.9%, and those with a more pessimistic view have downgraded estimates to below 3.5%.

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