M&A Monthly Report : October 2017

e-Tax Invoice and e-Receipts

On 1st March 2017 the Revenue Department has issued a new regulation “The preparation, delivery, and storage of e-Tax Invoice by Email B.E.2560” to permit small and medium enterprises to issue e-tax invoices and e-receipts by email, which the e-Tax invoice system has now officially opened on 1st June 2017.  The system will help reduce the issue time needed for preparing and delivering of documents, the amount of paper used, and amount of data storage needed.  

Under the regulation, the Revenue Department (RD) is planning to implement the use of e-Tax Invoice and e-Receipt by email by the following timeline:

1)      Large enterprise that has annual revenue of more than Baht 30 million shall implement from 1st January, 2018 onward.

2)      Medium enterprise that has annual revenue of less than Baht 30 million shall implement from 1st January, 2020 onward.

3)      Small enterprise that has annual revenue of less than Baht 1.8 million shall implement from 1st January, 2022 onward.

However, at this stage, the actual implementation is only a voluntary basis, RD shall announce a definite timing again in the future.

New Labor Protection Act B.E. 2560

The Labor Protection Act (No. 6) B.E. 2560 (2017) was published in the Royal Gazette on 31st August 2017 and became effective from the 1st September 2017 which amended the following matters;

 

Minimum wage:  The National Wage Committee is given flexibility to set a specific minimum wage rate depending on areas, the type of businesses, occupations, workers such as student, handicap, elders. However, the minimum wage rate shall not be lower than the current stipulated minimum wage rate.

 

Retirement:  The retirement age of employees is fixed at 60 years old and considered as a termination of employment, requiring employers to compensate retiring employees.

In case there is no retirement age set by the employer, or the retirement age is set out over 60 years of age, employees who turn 60 years old will be able to retire by informing the employer of their intention of retirement. The retirement will become effective after 30 day from the date of their notice of the intention and the employee shall be entitled to full severance pay under the new Labor Protection Act.

Work Rule:  The new Labor Protection Act also confirms the cancellation of submission of company’s work rules to the authority as previously announced by the Order of the National Council for Peace and Order No. 21/2560.

However, the employer who employs 10 or more employees should make work rules in Thai language and announce these rules within 15 days from the day that the employer employs 10 employees upwards, and the employer shall keep a copy of such work rules at the place of business or the office at all times.

Work rules are also still required to be published and easily visible for employees’ access in the workplace; moreover, publication through electronic media may be used in order to provide employee with more convenient access.  In case there is the amendment to work rules, employer shall announce such amend work rules in accordance with provision or guideline about making work rules.

Failure to comply with severance pay of retirement:  If an employer fails to pay severance pay to retiring employee, the employer shall be fined a maximum of THB 100,000 or imprisoned not exceeding six months, or both.

Labor Protection Act (no 6) B.E. 2560

Thailand Smart Visa – 4 Year Smart Visa

A new 4-year visa for professionals, “Smart Visa”, has just been announced by the Thai Cabinet and is scheduled to begin in January 2018. The Smart Visa is aimed at entrepreneurs investing in new businesses, highly-skilled professionals, or executives. The Thai government hopes the new visa will enable knowledge transfer that will boost business growth and bring long-term economic benefits.  The three groups of foreigners would get visas for longer stays, with no work permits required are:

 

(1) The first group is experts such as medical personnel, researchers and aviation engineers who apply to work in Eastern Economic Corridor projects. These experts would get a four-year visa-free grant. Their spouses and children would also get four-year visa term. They would have to report to the immigration office once a year instead of every three months as is currently the case.

 

(2) The second group is investors who get investment privileges from the BOI and invest in 10 targeted high-tech industries. These investors would get visa terms ranging from two to four years depending on the industries in which they invest. The targeted industries are the next generation of automotive, high-income tourism and medical tourism, smart electronics, efficient agriculture and biotechnology, food innovation, robotics, aerospace, bio-energy and biochemical, digital, and medical and healthcare.

 

(3) The third group covers those who invest in start-ups. They would get visas ranging from two to four years depending on the technologies they invest in.

 

The government will start to implement this measure in January 2018.