pexels alena darmel

Tax Incentives for Foreign Businesses in Thailand

1024 683 Earn Thongyam

Thailand has long been a favored destination for foreign investors, thanks to its strategic location, skilled workforce, and robust infrastructure. To further attract foreign investment, the Thai government offers a range of tax incentives that make setting up and running businesses in the country more appealing. These incentives are designed to spur economic growth, create jobs, and promote technological advancement. This article provides a detailed overview of the key tax incentives available for foreign businesses in Thailand.

Board of Investment (BOI) Promotions

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) is the primary agency responsible for promoting investment in Thailand. The BOI offers a comprehensive package of tax incentives to foreign businesses, including:

  • Corporate Income Tax Exemption

One of the most attractive incentives provided by the BOI is the exemption from corporate income tax (CIT) for a specified period. The duration of the tax exemption depends on the type and location of the business activity. For example, businesses engaged in high-tech industries or located in less developed areas can receive CIT exemptions for up to eight years.

  • Reduction of Corporate Income Tax

In cases where a full CIT exemption is not available, the BOI may offer a reduction in the CIT rate. This reduction can be a valuable incentive for businesses that exceed certain investment or expenditure thresholds.

  • Exemption from Import Duties

Foreign businesses can benefit from exemptions on import duties for machinery, raw materials, and components used in production. This exemption is crucial for businesses that rely heavily on imported inputs, as it significantly reduces their operating costs.

  • Additional Deductions

The BOI also provides additional deductions for businesses that invest in infrastructure, research and development, and training programs. These deductions can be applied to taxable income, further reducing the overall tax burden.

Special Economic Zones (SEZs)

Thailand has established several Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to stimulate economic activity in specific regions. SEZs offer a range of tax incentives for businesses that set up operations within their boundaries. These incentives include:

  • Corporate Income Tax Exemption

Similar to the BOI incentives, businesses in SEZs can enjoy CIT exemptions for up to eight years, depending on the type of activity and investment level.

  • Import Duty Exemptions

Businesses operating in SEZs are exempt from import duties on machinery, raw materials, and components used in production. This exemption helps lower the cost of setting up and operating within the zone.

  • Personal Income Tax Exemption

Foreign experts and skilled workers employed in SEZs can benefit from personal income tax exemptions for up to eight years. This incentive is designed to attract highly qualified personnel to the region.

  • Land Ownership Rights

Foreign businesses in SEZs are granted the right to own land, which is generally restricted in other parts of Thailand. This right provides greater flexibility and security for investors looking to establish long-term operations.

Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is a flagship project aimed at transforming Thailand’s eastern provinces into a leading economic zone in Southeast Asia. The EEC offers a range of tax incentives to attract investment in high-tech industries, infrastructure development, and innovation. Key incentives include:


  • Extended Corporate Income Tax Exemption

Businesses investing in targeted industries within the EEC can receive CIT exemptions for up to 13 years, which is significantly longer than the standard BOI incentives. This extended exemption period is particularly attractive for large-scale and long-term projects.

  • Exemption on Import Duties

As with other zones, businesses in the EEC are exempt from import duties on machinery, raw materials, and components. This exemption facilitates the establishment and expansion of high-tech industries in the region.

  • Personal Income Tax Reduction

Foreign experts and executives working in the EEC can benefit from a reduced personal income tax rate of 17%, which is significantly lower than the standard rate. This reduction helps attract top talent to the region.

  • Investment Promotion Zones

The EEC includes several Investment Promotion Zones that offer additional incentives for specific industries, such as digital technology, aviation, and biofuels. These zones provide tailored incentives to encourage investment in high-potential sectors.

Research and Development (R&D) Incentives

To promote innovation and technological advancement, Thailand offers several tax incentives for businesses engaged in research and development activities. These incentives include:

  • R&D Tax Deductions

Businesses can claim a tax deduction of up to 300% of their R&D expenses. This deduction significantly reduces the taxable income and encourages companies to invest in innovative projects.

  • R&D Grants

In addition to tax deductions, the Thai government provides grants and financial support for R&D projects in key industries. These grants help offset the costs of research and development, making it more affordable for businesses to innovate.

  • Collaboration with Universities

Businesses that collaborate with Thai universities or research institutions on R&D projects can benefit from additional tax incentives. These collaborations help bridge the gap between academia and industry, fostering innovation and knowledge transfer.

Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)

Thailand has entered into double taxation agreements (DTAs) with over 60 countries. These agreements help prevent double taxation of income earned by foreign businesses operating in Thailand. Key benefits of DTAs include:

  • Reduced Withholding Tax Rates

DTAs typically provide for reduced withholding tax rates on dividends, interest, and royalties paid to foreign investors. These reduced rates help lower the overall tax burden on cross-border transactions.

  • Elimination of Double Taxation

DTAs include provisions for the elimination of double taxation through tax credits or exemptions. This ensures that income earned in Thailand is not taxed twice, making it more attractive for foreign investors.

  • Enhanced Tax Certainty

DTAs provide greater tax certainty for foreign businesses by establishing clear rules for the allocation of taxing rights between countries. This certainty helps businesses plan their investments and operations with confidence.


Earn Thongyam

All stories by: Earn Thongyam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.