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Lao PDR Corporate - Withholding taxes

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WHT is applied to various types of payments made to domestic and foreign recipients.

Payment WHT rate (%)
Dividend 10
Interest from lending activities (non-bank), commission, and guarantee fees 10
Profit from sale of shares 2 to 10
Income from business activities of the State Organizations, Lao Front for National Construction, Mass Organization, and Civil Society 10
Prizes and lottery prizes with the value of LAK 5 million and above 10
Intellectual property (IP) royalty 5
Sale or transfer of real property 2 to 5

Lao PDR has DTTs with the following countries, and WHT rates under the treaties are as follows:

Recipient WHT (%)
Dividends Interest Royalties
Belarus (not in force) (1) 5/10 (2) 8 5
Brunei - - -
China 5 5 5
Kuwait (not in force) - - -
Luxembourg 5/15 (3) 10 5
Malaysia 5 10 10
Myanmar - - -
North Korea 5 10 5
Russia 10 10 0
Singapore 5/8 (4) 5 5
South Korea - - -
Thailand 10 10 5
Vietnam 10 10 5


  1. Not effective. Requested for ratification.
  2. 5% of the gross amount of the dividends if the beneficial owner is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 10% of the capital of the company paying the dividend; 10% of the gross amount of the dividends in all other cases.
  3. 5% of the gross amount of the dividends if the beneficial owner is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 10% of the capital of the company paying the dividend; 15% of the gross amount of the dividends in all other cases.
  4. 5% of the gross amount of the dividends if the beneficial owner is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 10% of the capital of the company paying the dividend; 8% of the gross amount of the dividends in all other cases.

Foreign withholding tax (FWHT)

An FWHT applies where a registered entity in Lao PDR contracts with a foreign supplier of goods and services (i.e. regardless of whether the services are provided in Lao PDR or outside Lao PDR) not registered in Lao PDR. The FWHT comprises both a PT and VAT (i.e. service only) element and is the final tax on the foreign supplier. The FWHT withholding and filing obligation rests with the Lao PDR customer, and it is applied before payment to the foreign supplier.

For foreign suppliers, PT must be withheld at a deemed percentage of taxable turnover. The deemed rates are determined according to the nature of the contract or activity.

Activity Deemed profit margin (% of business revenue) Deemed PT rate (%)
Commerce 5 1.2
Production 3 0.72
Transportation goods and services 5 1.2
Building service - repair 10 2.4
Exploration - mineral 20 4.8
Excavation - trees 5 1.2
Exploration - embankments 15 3.6
Entertainment services 25 6.0
Consulting services 10 2.4
Broker and developer 20 4.8
Other services 10 2.4

The above rates are under Article 33 of the Law on Tax No. 70/NA, dated 15 December 2015.

These PT rates are then added to the VAT at 10% to determine the total FWHT. For example, a foreign service charge of LAK 1,000 would result in LAK 48 of withholding PT and add on of LAK 100 of VAT for a total FWHT of LAK 148. Payments to foreign suppliers for services rendered are subject to both PT WHT and VAT WHT, while payments for foreign suppliers of goods are only subject to PT WHT since VAT is paid before the goods enter Lao PDR.

Last Reviewed - 30 June 2019

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