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    Thai Supreme Court dismisses final Toyota appeal over tax bill

    BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand’s Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a final appeal by the local subsidiary of car giant Toyota over a disputed USD270 million import tax bill following a decade of legal wrangling.

    The case relates to Toyota Motor Thailand’s importation of parts for its Prius model at a reduced tax rate between 2010 and 2012 under a Japan-Thailand trade agreement.

    Thai authorities said Toyota’s imports were not included under that agreement and estimate the company owes roughly THB10 billion (USD270 million).

    While the country’s Central Tax Court ruled in favour of Toyota in 2017, the decision was later overturned.

    Yesterday the Supreme court issued a final ruling against Toyota, stating the firm was not eligible for the 30-per-cent import duty reduction.

    Toyota Motor’s logo at the company’s dealer shop in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP

    In a statement Toyota Motor Thailand said it “respects the Supreme Court’s ruling”.

    But it noted that a 2012 customs ruling – later upheld by the Supreme Court – reinterpreted previously agreed import rules, “resulting in a much higher tax on TMT”.

    “Once TMT has obtained the Supreme Court’s full, written decision, we will study the ruling and comply with its requirements,” the statement said.

    “We are committed to ensuring that our business practices comply with all applicable government regulations,” the firm added.

    The dispute centres on whether the imports should be classified as car parts or fully assembled cars.

    The THB10 billion is comprised of import duty, value-added tax, excise tax, and municipal tax, explained customs department senior official Chaiyut Khumkhun.

    “We have yet to see the exact amount Toyota has to pay because we are waiting for the full document of the ruling,” he said.

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