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Thailand Delays Tax Hike on Cheap Cigarettes

Bars, massage parlors also offered 0% tax on booze through Sept.

Cheap Thai Cigarette Packets

Thailand officially has put off raising taxes on cheap cigarettes for another year to help support tobacco companies’ profits during the coronavirus pandemic.

The order postponing the tax hike until Oct. 1, 2021, as well as a number of tax-relief measures, was published in the Royal Gazette Wednesday.

Taxes on cigarettes costing under 60 baht were supposed to double from 20 percent to 40 percent on Oct. 1 this year. Currently, the 40-percent rate only applies on smokes costing more than 60 baht a pack.

The Royal Gazette also made official a June a proposal to allow pubs, bars, soapy massage parlors, horse-racing tracks and golf courses to pay no taxes on alcohol, provided they haven’t and will not lay off workers due to the pandemic. Venues that can prove they’ve kept on their caddies, cooks, masseuses or waiters will get a waiver on excise taxes through Sept. 30.