Businesses that suffered losses from the recent flooding in Thailand are asking if they can use the losses to lower their income tax.

If your company is insured and the losses are covered by the insurance policy, they cannot be treated as expenses immediately and you must wait until the issue of the insurance claim is resolved. Once the amount of the insurance claim is agreed, the losses (net of the insurance compensation) can then be treated as tax-deductible expenses.

However, if your company is not insured, losses incurred can be treated as expenses immediately. But if assets or goods are not totally lost and were only damaged, then these must be destroyed or sold before they are expended. Necessary evidence of destruction should be established and retained for future reference. This is because if the Revenue Department requests to see the evidence in the future, the details and evidences will not be forgotten or lost.

On the other hand, when there is compensation received from insurers, if the compensation exceeds the net book value of lost fixed assets, the excess is exempted from corporate income tax (a concession granted by the authorities as a consequence of the previous floods and of benefit to the current floods).

However, compensation received from insurers in excess of the cost of goods (not fixed assets) and any compensation received for business interruption are taxable income since no concession was granted specifically for these two categories.

Contact MSNA, Thailand Accounting firm, for your tax and accounting questions.