ASEAN Excise Tax Reform: A Resource Manual represents the final phase of the most comprehensive analysis of excise taxation of the ASEAN region ever undertaken. The purpose of this publication is to act as a resource manual for policymakers and a roadmap to excise tax reform. In addition to this Resource Manual, experts have developed the “ASEAN Excise Working Tariff Schedule” which maps out the taxation of all excisable goods and services in the 10 member states, including links to all the relevant national excise tax legislation and a comprehensive “Discussion Paper.”
The Resource Manual is a result of over two years of active engagement between Ministry of Finance policymakers and excise tax administrators from the member states and the Asia-Pacific Tax Forum expert team. As with most ASEAN undertakings, it was a collaborative effort. The end result provides policymakers with a roadmap to excise taxation in a more closely integrated region.
Standardization will become increasingly important as the region moves towards the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which is due to commence on 31 December 2015. Harmonization and standardization of areas such as the definitions of both the key goods subject to excise and their tax bases will improve the intra-regional trade and investment of excisable goods around the region, as well as in many cases, improve compliance in the distribution and reduction of tax evasion.
This new Resource Manual fully respects national tax sovereignty. The authors focus on how to improve the existing tax regimes that are diverse in their approach and range of goods and services covered, to provide a path for reform, standardization, and the adoption of best practice excise tax systems. These reforms, if carried out correctly, can help foster economic growth and higher budget revenues in each of the ASEAN member states. This comprehensive Resource Manual will provide policymakers with the resources to develop and implement such policies in each of their countries.
Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng
Senior Advisor, International Tax and Investment Center and former ASEAN Deputy Secretary General