Thailand's Revenue Department plans to ease tax rules for investments in digital assets by allowing traders to offset annual losses against gains for taxes due on cryptocurrency investments, and exempt transactions from withholding tax and value-added tax (VAT), which is normally collected at 15 and seven per cent respectively.

“The rules will apply to transactions conducted via business operators or exchanges regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC],” department director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas said on January 28.

Other criteria include the offsetting of losses against gains being done within the same tax year.

Ekniti added that the department will issue a guidebook on tax calculation for digital asset traders on January 31. The guide will also cover details on two eligible cost calculation approaches, which are first-in, first-out (FIFO) and moving average cost. Traders can switch between these approaches in the next tax year.

“The Revenue Department will discuss with digital asset communities and relevant agencies the possibility of amending related laws to further improve tax collection on digital assets,” Ekniti said.

“For instance, adding a revenue code that lets business operators or exchanges collect withholding tax and submit to the department, and imposing financial transaction tax instead of VAT for digital assets that serve as securities.”

Digital assets have significantly expanded in Thailand over the past few years, with average daily trading increasing from 240 million baht to 4.83 billion baht ($7.18 million to $144 million).

Total estimated asset value has also jumped from 9.6 billion baht to 114.5 billion baht, while the number of digital asset users has surged from about 170,000 to more than 1.9 million people.