Corporate - Significant developments

Last reviewed - 15 January 2021

The Tax Law in Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) has been repealed and replaced by the following legislation:

  • Law on Tax Management (No. 66/NA, dated 17 June 2019)
  • Law on Income Tax (No. 67/NA, dated 18 June 2019)
  • Law on Excise Tax (No. 68/NA, dated 19 June 2019)

The following measures in the new legislation are effective from 1 January 2020:

  • The profit tax (PT) rates have been amended (see Profit tax in the Taxes on corporate income section for more information).
  • Provisions entered by banks or other financial institutions based on the accounting standards and requirements of the Bank of Lao PDR can be claimed as tax deductions.
  • The deductibility of business expenses with limits have been repealed (i.e. these business expenses can be claimed as tax deductions without any limit).
  • Companies subject to PT must file advance PT returns and pay the tax twice a year, by 20 July and 20 January of the following year.
  • The period for carrying forward losses has been increased from three years to five years.
  • The payroll tax rate has been amended, and the maximum tax rate has increased from 24% to 25% (see the Taxes on personal income section in the Individual tax summary for more information).
  • The income tax on dividends should be paid within 15 working days from the Annual General Meeting (AGM) approving the dividends. If the shareholders agree not to pay dividends, the tax authority should be informed within 15 working days from the AGM. If the company does not hold a board meeting or AGM, the company should also notify the tax authority by 30 June of the following year. Otherwise, the dividend tax should be payable.
  • The foreign withholding tax (FWHT) rates have been amended (see Foreign withholding tax in the Withholding taxes section for more information).
  • Withholding tax (WHT) returns should be lodged and the taxes paid within 15 working days after payment.

Measures in response to COVID-19

The Prime Minister's Office issued some policies and measures to reduce the adverse effects of the outbreak of COVID-19 to the Lao PDR economy. Some of the policies are as follows:

  • For employees, the monthly tax-free threshold shall be increased to 5 million Lao kip (LAK) for a period of three months (i.e. April to June 2020). The payroll tax shall be as follows:

    Monthly salary base (LAK) Tax rate (%) PIT of each threshold (LAK) Total PIT (LAK)
    From To
    0 5,000,000 0 0 0
    5,000,001 15,000,000 10 1,000,000 1,000,000
    15,000,001 25,000,000 15 1,500,000 2,500,000
    25,000,001 65,000,000 20 8,000,000 10,500,000
    65,000,001 and above 25 - -
  • The due date for paying the road tax fees has been extended from 31 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.
  • The submission of the 2019 financial statements has been extended from 31 March 2020 to 15 June 2020.
  • The importation of goods used in the containment and prevention of COVID-19 (e.g. surgical masks, liquid soap, medical equipment) shall be exempt from custom duties, taxes, and other charges.
  • Tax payments for tourism business operators shall be deferred for a period of three months.
  • Payment of the compulsory social security contributions shall be deferred for a period of three months (April to June 2020) for affected businesses.
  • The Bank of Laos (BoL) will cut its base interest rates and reduce commercial banks' deposit reserve requirements as deemed appropriate from time to time.
  • The BOL will also require all commercial banks to provide credit relief to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to businesses. The relief may come in the form of suspension of loan and interest payments, lower interest rates, providing new loans to businesses, debt restructuring, debt hierarchy management, etc.