Easy English news
Brother and sister Panthongtae and Pinthongta Shinawatra must be relieved today that they will not have to pay a 12 billion baht tax bill. But they must also be a bit uncomfortable over the reason.
Please join us on our facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/bangkokpostlearning
Click button to listen to No tax bill and rightclick to download
No tax bill for Panthongtae and Pinthongta
Brother and sister Panthongtae and Pinthongta Shinawatra must be relieved today that, after a long court battle, they will not have to pay a 12 billion baht tax bill. But they must also be a bit uncomfortable over the reason.
The case dates back to January 2006 when their father, then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, announced the sale of his family's 49% stake in Shin Corp to Singapore's Temasek Holdings in a transaction worth 73 billion baht.
As part of the sale, Mr Panthongtae and Ms Pinthongta purchased 329 million Shin Corp shares at a price of one baht each from Ample Rich, an offshore holding company controlled by the Shinawatra family.
The two Shinawatra siblings later sold the Shin shares in their name to Temasek through the Stock Exchange of Thailand for 49.25 baht each, reaping a capital gain of 48.25 baht per share or nearly 16 billion baht.
At that point, everything seemed fine for the siblings since capital gains are not normally taxed here in Thailand.
Their problems started after the 2006 coup that ousted their father. Tax authorities who had originally accepted that no taxes needed to be paid, backtracked on their position, saying Thaksin's children had to pay taxes of 12 billion baht including interest and penalties. The tax authorities also froze their assets during the appeal process.
The case went to the Central Tax Court whereby the children claimed that they were true owners of the shares, but were not subject to tax.
The Tax Court agreed that the siblings should not be taxed but for a very different reason. Referring to a Supreme Court decision that the true owner of the shares was Mr Thaksin and the siblings were only acting as nominees, the Tax Court ruled that any tax claims would have to be made against the actual owner of the shares.
Yesterday the Revenue Department announced it would not appeal the Tax Court’s decision.
Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by Wichit Chantanusornsiri.
tax – money that you have to pay to the government so that it can pay for public services ภาษี
relieved – happy that something unpleasant has not happened or has ended โล่งใจ, เบาใจ, หมดกังวล, ผ่อนคลาย
court – the place where legal trials take place and where crimes, etc. are judged ศาล
battle – a fight; serious disagreement, strong competition, etc. การต่อสู้
uncomfortable – anxious, embarrassed or afraid and unable to relax; making you feel like this ไม่สบายใจ, อึดอัด, อึดอัดใจ
stake – a share or a financial involvement in something such as a business ส่วนได้เสีย
transaction – the action or process of buying or selling something การค้า
purchase – to buy something ซื้อ
share – any of the units of equal value into which a company is divided and sold to raise money. People who own shares receive part of the company's profits หุ้น
offshore – kept or located in another country, especially one that has tax laws that are less strict than other places
holding company – a company that is formed to buy shares in other companies which it then controls บริษัทผู้ถือหุ้นใหญ่หรือเป็นเจ้าของหุ้นใหญ่ในบริษัทอื่น บริษัทที่ถูกจัดตั้ง ขึ้นมาเพื่อซื้อหุ้นของบริษัทอื่น
sibling – a brother or sister พี่น้อง
reap – to get something as a result of something that you do ได้รับผลตอบแทน
capital gain – the profit you get from selling property or from money you have invested ดอกผล
normally – usually; in normal circumstances โดยปกติ, ตามปกติ
coup (d’etat) – the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces รัฐประหาร
oust – to force to leave a position of power ขับออกจากอำนาจ
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
originally – the situation that existed at the beginning of a particular period or activity, especially before something was changed อย่างเป็นอันแรก, โดยแรกเริ่ม
backtrack – to say that you did not mean something you said earlier or say that you have changed your opinion กลับคำ
position – stance; an attitude or view about an issue that you state clearly; position จุดยืน
interest – the money that a bank or other financial company charges you when you borrow money, or the money it pays you when you keep money in an account ดอกเบี้ย
penalty – a punishment, or the usual punishment, for doing something that is against a law, in this case, the payment of money โทษ
freeze assets – (of a court) to order that things owned by someone, especially money and property, cannot be used by the owner until a final court decision has been made ยึดหรือพิทักษ์ทรัพย์
appeal – a request to a court to change a decision by a lower court อุทธรณ์
process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
claim – to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it อ้าง
subject to – affected by ภายใต้บังคับ (กฎหมาย)
Supreme Court – the highest court in a country ศาลฎีกา, ศาลสูงสุด
nominee – a legal arrangement whereby investments are held by a a person or company on behalf of the real owner ผู้รับถือหุ้นให้บุคคลอื่นที่ไม่ต้องการจะเปิดเผยตัวตน
rule – (of a court or other group with similar authority) to make and announce a decision ตัดสิน, พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด
actual – real; existing in fact จริง
Revenue Department – the government department responsible for collecting taxes กรมสรรพากร