Taxpayer information to be shared
In what it claims to be an attempt to streamline e-tax payments, the Finance Ministry recently announced plans to amend the Revenue Code so that Revenue Department officials will be able to share information on taxpayers with other state agencies.
According to the Finance Ministry, by making an amendment to Section 10 of the Revenue Code this would enable better tax collection especially as the national e-payment tax system is due to be rolled out from 15 July this year.
E-tax invoices and e-tax receipts are expected to be available from 1 October while e-withholding tax will commence on 1 January 2017.
The government expects to save around 70 billion baht a year in printing and transporting banknotes and cheques once the e-tax system comes online. The e-payment scheme is designed to transform Thailand from a cash-based society to a cashless one.
The scheme will also help the government in its efforts to stop tax avoidance and will provide direct subsidies to low income earners and the elderly.
The Revenue Department believes the e-tax measures will improve tax payment recording and be generally more convenient for taxpayers, especially within the business sector.
The Department has also estimated that an additional 100 billion baht in tax revenue will be collected via the e-tax payment scheme.
Before all this can take effect, the government has to expand the number of electronic data capture (EDC) machines across the country. This roll-out will run in tandem with its Any ID e-payment scheme, which allows users, even those without a bank account, to transfer money using a mobile phone and their national ID number.
EDC machines will, in the first phase, be installed in state agencies and companies registered with the value-added tax (VAT) system. In the second phase, companies and individuals running businesses outside the VAT system will be able to install EDC machines.
By July the government expects there to be around 500,000 EDC machines in operation across Thailand, and this will grow to around two million machines over time. Financial institutions are expected to absorb the costs of setting up these machines.
At present, figures show 98 percent of electronic payments are made using credit cards, with the remainder by way of debit cards.
Businesses and individuals can sign up to access the national e-payment scheme at financial institutions. After doing so, they can then link a single bank account with a phone number or citizen’s ID card number for payments.