Who could have guessed that property taxes had such potential for drama and startling plot twists?
In a stark reversal of its announced policy, Thailand is now to extend special incentives for another two months.
Buyers now have until the end of May to enjoy a discount of about 5% on their new homes – a combination of a cut in special business tax to 0.1% from 3.3%, in transfer fees to 0.01% from 2% and in mortgage fees to 0.01% from 1%.
The move is unexpected. Officials had earlier quashed speculation from real estate professionals that Thailand‘s government would extend the incentives beyond their scheduled expiry on 28 March.
Ministers had said the tax perks, in place since last year, were no longer needed as the property market had picked up and developers were already enjoying healthy profits.
The government says the volte-face is on the grounds that transactions could have been held up by the recent red-shirt demos in Bangkok.
‘The decision was made on the grounds that about 10,000 people who had bought their homes might not be able to transfer their property right before expire date of the tax incentive measures,’ said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.