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FPO certain of organic land laws

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The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) has expressed confidence that 20 organic laws for the land and buildings tax will sail through government scrutiny.

The 20 organic laws will specify practical guidelines and the authority of local administrative officials, including permitting them to survey land and buildings in the private sector and setting the price of buildings for tax calculation, said Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the FPO.

A draft bill on the land and buildings tax has already passed the National Legislative Assembly's three readings and is waiting for royal endorsement before publication in the Royal Gazette. The tax is scheduled to go into effect on Jan 1, 2020.

The land and buildings tax will replace the house and land tax and the local development tax, which have drawn criticism for being outdated.

According to the approved version, land and buildings used for residences with appraisal prices of up to 50 million baht will be taxed at a rate of 0.02%, those valued at 50-75 million baht will be taxed at 0.03%, 75-100 million baht at 0.05% and 100 million baht or above at 0.1%.

For first-time homeowners, a tax exemption will be applied to the first 50 million baht of the appraisal prices of their houses if both the home and the land are owned.

Those who only own houses, but not land, would qualify for a tax exemption for the first 10 million baht of their houses' appraisal prices.

Land used for agricultural purposes with appraisal prices of up to 75 million baht will be taxed at a rate of 0.01%, land appraised at 75-100 million baht will be taxed at 0.03%, land worth 100-500 million baht at 0.05%, 500 million to 1 billion baht at 0.07% and more than 1 billion baht at 0.1%.

Land used for commercial purposes will see a tax rate of 0.3% for property worth up to 50 million baht, a rate of 0.4% on land worth 50-200 million baht, of 0.5% for land valued between 200 million baht and 1 billion baht, 0.6% on land with a price tag of 1-5 billion and 0.7% on land worth 5 billion baht and above.

For undeveloped land, a tax rate of 0.3% will be applied and will increase by 0.3% every three years up to a cap of 3%.

Mr Lavaron said the new tax is estimated to generate 40 billion baht a year during 2020-21, compared with around 30 billion baht earned from the house and land tax and the local development tax.

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