Thailand Urges SMEs To Sign Up For Single Account Business Scheme

The Grand Palace is pictured days before the King's Maha Vajiralongkorn coronation in Bangkok, Thailand April 30, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha)

Thailand introduced a business scheme in 2016 that has since gained the attention of over 20,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The single account initiative allows for business owners to avoid potential criminal liabilities and delayed payments.

According to the Bangkok Post, Director-General of Thailand's Revenue Department Ekniti Nitithanprapas revealed that from 2016-2017, around 24,000 SMEs availed of the scheme to help them with managing their financial accounts.

While many SMEs already signed up for the single account scheme, thousands of others have been urged to comply with the scheme. The Revenue Department recently found out that some of the 460,000 business owners who initially registered under the plan understated their supposed tax statements.

The department has since rolled out a deadline of June for operators who understated taxes to comply with the single account scheme.

Aside from being required to pay delinquency tax fees to avoid criminal liability, participating SMEs have also been required to make electronic tax filings for at least one year from July 1.

Qualified SMEs are those that record annual sales that hit the 500-million baht mark. These businesses should also not have criminal charge records related to fraudulent tax activities before March 25 of this year.

President of the Federation of Accounting Professions Chakkrit Parapuntakul said the amendments in Thailand's single account business scheme have been implemented to ensure that SME accounts do not violate any Thai business laws.

The Thai government continues to find ways to help SMEs start under secure and non-fraudulent accounts. Last week, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) in a bid to provide assistance for Thailand SMEs.

SET President Pakorn Peetathawatchai said the goal is to boost developments within the business space of both China and Thailand. Businesses will be allowed to access an online portal where cooperation between registered firms will be developed.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has also organized a risk management training course for SMEs involved in export. According to Thai Visa, the program aims to help entrepreneurs gain more knowledge in dealing with fluctuations in currencies around the world.

Assistant to the Governor for Financial Markets at BOT, Wachira Aromdee, explained that many SMEs in Thailand face difficulties in business due to a lack of access to tools they can use for managing exchange rates in the export industry.

The training program will also provide Thai SMEs with a 50,000 baht grant per business that they can use for purchasing FX option contracts. The initiative is also available through an e-learning portal so traveling businesspeople can still study wherever they are.

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