If you’ve been to Thailand before, you would have been aware of one thing: the alcohol there’s dirt cheap.
In fact, depending on the place you go, some alcoholic beverages might cost just a few more cents than your generic Coke and Fanta drinks.
So yeah, you get how crazy it was.
However, that’s all going to change.
Prepare your hearts, drunkards.
For Thailand’s ready to revise the tax rates on alcohol.
And it’s not a good thing for us.
New excise tax rates
On 12 September 2017, Thailand’s cabinet approved ministerial regulations to implement new excise tax rates for alcohol, cigarettes and playing cards. (Smokers and gamblers, you’re not spared either)
According to Bangkok Post, the restructuring will be put in place as early as 16 September 2017.
Somchai Poolsavasdi, director-general of the Excise Department, said that the new tax is intended to make state tax collection more transparent and fair.
Aside from protecting public health, they are also trying to obey international standards. He clarified that it was not to increase the government’s revenue.
Why did the change come about?
After some businesses were discovered to have understated their tax bills, the Thai Cabinet had to act.
They wanted to create a fairer system for manufacturers and importers, and to do so, used suggested retail prices as a base for excise tax computation, instead of the ex-factory price, insurance and freight values.
How will the tax rates work?
The current tax structure is based on sales prices. New tax rates for liquor will be based on the degree of alcohol contained, meaning a higher degree, will lead to higher tax. It will also take in to account health and sanitation issues.
For cigarettes, it will be based on both quantity and value.
Will it really work?
The Thai Health Promotion Foundation warned that the higher taxes levied on beer might just force drinkers to resort to local white spirits.
Seeing as the tax ceiling will cause the retail prices of both beer and liquor to have a much narrower difference, it could cause consumers to make unhealthy choices.
A prime example is lao khao, a local white spirit. As it’s subjected to a lower tax rate than beer, drinkers might choose that instead.
The question we all want to ask
Just how much is the alcohol price going to increase by?
Mr Wisudhi answered the question with a cryptic answer.
He believed that the new tax rates wouldn’t lead to significant changes of retail prices for alcoholic drinks.
How significant it exactly is, is up to anyone’s guess.
For now, I guess all we can do is keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.
For those still in Thailand, spam those beer cans, you hear me?
You got two days left.
Wreak havoc on those alcoholic drinks while you still can!
Disclaimer: if you’re 12, please don’t follow this bad influence’s advice. Go drink your milk instead.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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