Among a myriad of factors which determine competitiveness within ASEAN member states, rates of taxation are a particularly salient judge of character for the treatment of foreign investment. In recent years, corporate income tax (CIT) has become the standard bearer for tax benchmarking, however, foreign investors will be faced with a variety of different taxes in the event that capital is committed. For those importing and exporting, indirect taxation, including value added taxation (VAT) and goods and services tax (GST) are significant forms of tax that should not be disregarded.
In essence, an indirect tax adds to the price of a purchasable product or a payable service, thereby increasing the cost of that product or service and causing consumers to indirectly pay its rate of taxation. Indirect taxes thus differ from other forms of taxation, such as corporate income and individual income tax; both of which require a business or an individual to pay the applicable amount directly to a government.
VAT and GST rates within ASEAN vary widely between member states – from 12 percent in the Philippines to countries which do not currently levy these taxes at all, such as Laos and Myanmar. For those considering investment, GST, VAT, and other taxation tied to the purchase of specific goods should be watched closely.
Regional Business Publications from Asia Briefing
The above is an excerpt from our latest ASEAN Briefing Magazine, titled “The 2016/17 ASEAN Tax Comparator and available to subscribers for download in the Asia Briefing Bookstore. In this edition, we discuss the importance of taxation within ASEAN, while highlighting the differences between individual member states on a variety of fronts. We examine trends within regional taxation, compare rates of corporate, indirect, and withholdings taxation, and present an overview of the compliance environments found across the region. Finally, we analyze ASEAN’s tax rates in the context of the time and documentation required to achieve compliance, and showcase the role that residency definitions can play in determining operational exposure to taxation.
Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email email@example.com or visit www.dezshira.com.
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