Information for Businesses Impacted by the Floods
Updated: 28 October 2011
The flooding in Thailand has overwhelmed many of the Northern and Central provinces and now threatens Bangkok. The situation is only expected to worsen in the coming days. The Thai Government announced a five day government holiday in Bangkok and the affected provinces from Thursday 27 October to Monday 31 October 2011. Many companies in Bangkok are closed during this period and all businesses should continue to assess the situation on a daily basis.
Seven industrial estates in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani provinces have already closed as a result of the flooding: Saha Ratana, Rojana, Hi-Tech, Bang Pa-in, Wangnoi Factoryland, Nava Nakorn and Bangkadi. There is concern that more industrial estates are at risk from flooding including the Ladkrabang Industrial Estate in eastern Bangkok.
- Tax filing deadline extension
The Revenue Department announced tax filing deadline extensions to help businesses impacted by the floods:
- Withholding tax (PND.3, PND.53, PND.54), VAT (PP.30, PP.36), SBT (PT.40) and Personal income tax (PND.1) returns for the months August to November: delayed until 30 December 2011.
- Corporate income tax returns (PND.50, PND.51) due for filing within September to December: delayed until 30 December 2011.
However, please note that these extensions have not been announced yet in Bangkok or Samut Prakhan. Nor have forms been issued by the Revenue Department to apply for an extension. We understand that these will be issued in due course.
We therefore strongly advise businesses to contact the Revenue Department Call Centre for clarification as to whether the extension covers the district in which their business is located.
As noted above, the payment of Personal Income Tax (PND.1) has been delayed in certain provinces.
Social Security Fund
Businesses impacted by the flood should contact their local Social Security Office for further clarification.
We expect that any change involving the company’s Provident Fund will be announced by the Fund itself.
Businesses impacted by the floods are not required by law to continue to pay its employees. Under the Thai Labour Law, it should be considered that the employees cannot work due to force majeure. The employer (the company) does not have to pay the salary for the period that the company has to stop its operation as a result of the flood.
- Business Registrations / Financial Statements
The Ministry of Commerce has announced that businesses located in the flood affected provinces that are in the process of registering a company or changing the company’s particulars can instead submit the application to the Ministry of Commerce in Nonthaburi province. However, there is no change in the legal period to submit such an application.
We understand that the Ministry of Commerce has not issued any extension for the filing of audited financial statements. However, the financial statements can be filed at any Department of Business Development office.
- Board of Investment
The Board of Investment (‘BOI’) has announced that promoted companies that have or intend to relocate its machinery and equipment and / or raw materials out of its place of business can inform the BOI through the BOI’s helpdesk after relocating the assets. This is a relaxation on the standard process which requires that the BOI approval must be obtained first.
The BOI has launched its relief measures for BOI promoted companies affected by the flooding:
- BOI promoted companies can apply for urgent permission to bring in foreign skilled workers and experts on a temporary basis (not more than 30 days) without a Non-Immigrant B visa.
- BOI promoted companies can change the place to apply for a Visa Extension and Work Permit Issuance and a Work Permit Extension from the preferred Provincial Immigration Office and Provincial Employment Office to the One Stop Service Centre for Visas and Work Permits.
- Until 30 November 2011, the reporting of foreign experts required every 90 days can be done by telephone, fax or SMS.
It is expected that the BOI will make further announcements to launch new incentives to support companies recovering from the floods.
Businesses should perform a detailed review of their policy or consult their insurance company to confirm whether they are entitled to claim for all damages (including the damages from business interruption) or not. This will depend on the scope and exception of the coverage under the insurance policy.
- Ongoing impact
We strongly advise all businesses, even in those areas not yet impacted by flooding to take precautions to ensure that your employees and their families are safe and that machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets including company documents are moved to higher ground. Businesses should expect disruptions to its suppliers and customers and its employees being unable to reach the workplace. If not already in place, a disaster recovery plan should be prepared and distributed to key management.