Government Losing A Fortune In Tax Due To Illegal Cigarettes

The government in Thailand claim they are losing over 3.6 billion baht per annum in tax reveunue, due to illegal cigarettes – an issue that has become a problem world wide of late.

The company Philip Morris (Thailand) released figures recently comparing data from Q4 of 2017 with the same period in 2016.

The study suggests that cigarettes without a Thai stamp rose by 6.6%, which is an increase of almost 3% on the previous year. The study was conducted by Neilsen, a well known research company.

They also said that the area most affected by illicit cigarettes was in the south of the country, where illegal sales are through the roof.

Government Losing A Fortune In Tax Due To Illegal Cigarettes

Over 10,000 discarded cigarette packets were collected for study purposes, revealing that 6.6% or 669 packs were illegal. The majority of the non tax paying packets were from the same two brands, which are not registered with the Excise Department in Thailand. It is estimated that the tax man is losing the revenue from over 100 million packets of smokes per year.

Another issue for smokers was the tax increase in September 2017, which forced many smokers to either give up the habit or encouraged them to switch to hand rolling tobacco or illegal cigarettes.

Also Read: New tax rates for cigarettes and alcohol announced and it’s not good

With taxes set to rise again in October 2019, taking tax on cigarettes to 40%, things are unlikely to improve, either for the smoker or the tax man.

Based on current figures, the government could lose up to five billion baht per annum by 2020. And of course the more expensive the cigarettes become, there is a greater chance of smugglers bringing in illegal contraband.

It would seem the black market will grow unless action is taken against those who deal in illicit cigarettes now.

Source : Thenation

Content : LovePattayaThailand

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