Update Dec. 4: The cabinet approved the campaign Tuesday, saying it will take effect Dec. 15 through Jan. 16.
BANGKOK — Get new wheels. Enjoy a tax break. Help rubber farmers. Save Thailand.
That’s the logic behind this year’s annual campaign asking consumers to “save the nation” in return for tax breaks, but this time with much fewer eligible items.
On Tuesday, the Finance Ministry said it had proposed for the junta’s year-end tax break to run again for a fourth year. It had a much narrower scope, with only three types of goods proposed: car tires, books (e-book included) and One Tambon One Product, or OTOP, products.
The spending cap remains the same: up to 15,000 baht that can be written off annual tax bills.
According to Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong, the ministry expects cabinet approval by Tuesday.
Apisak said the ministry believes there’s no need to stimulate consumer spending, so this year’s campaign is meant to bolster sales of goods that need a boost.
With the military government’s support in the south strained by low rubber prices, it cited research that nearly half of Thailand’s rubber production is used to make car tires. Therefore the car tires eligible for the tax break must be made in Thailand.
According to Apisak, books were chosen to encourage reading, while OTOP products are a perennial favorite for supporting communities and municipalities nationwide.
The “Shopping to Save the Nation” campaign will again run a full month, Dec. 15 to Jan. 15. Shoppers must save receipts and request tax invoices from registered businesses.