Call to amend revenue code to ease e-tax

Call to amend revenue code to ease e-tax

The Revenue Department wants to log e-transactions for tax payments and broaden the options for withholding tax remittance. (Photo by TANAPHON ONGARTTRAKUL)
The Revenue Department wants to log e-transactions for tax payments and broaden the options for withholding tax remittance. (Photo by TANAPHON ONGARTTRAKUL)

The Revenue Department has proposed amending the Revenue Code to enable it to certify electronic transaction documents aimed at facilitating the e-tax system.

The amendment is necessary because business operators have adopted electronic transactions and store data in electronic form, while the government has shifted towards a digital economy to spur the country's economic growth potential, according to a paper on the law amendment drawn up for a public hearing.

The amendment will allow the department to log e-transactions for tax payments and broaden the options for withholding tax remittance, it said.

The Revenue Department earlier estimated that its coffers would double to 4 trillion baht after the e-tax system is introduced in 2019, as tax avoidance loopholes are expected to be effectively closed.

All purchases of goods and services will go through the e-tax system, informing the Revenue Department of all transactions to enable it to calculate tax payments more accurately.

E-tax is part of a larger national e-payment system which aims to transform Thailand into a less cash-reliant society with a digital economy. Others are PromptPay, e-welfare, and an increase in debit card usage and electronic data capture (EDC) expansion. The new law will authorise the Revenue Department's director-general set criteria, conditions and procedures for electronic transactions, the paper said.

In the event that banks and others assigned by the Revenue Department to impose the withholding tax fail to remit the full amount to the tax-collecting agency, they are subject to a penalty of 1.5% of the missing amount per month.

Tax invoices, as well as credit and debit notes, will be allowed to be arranged in electronic form, of which the conditions, criteria and procedures must comply with those to be set by the Revenue Department's director-general.

The law also gives the department's director-general the authority to call on any person to submit document or evidence related to tax payments to create fairness, the paper said.

The Revenue Department's head would also be allowed to access or designate revenue officials to access electronic data related to tax payments.

The government, the Bank of Thailand and financial institutions are keen to push digital payments. The central bank has teamed up with five international payment networks and financial service providers in Thailand to roll out a standardised QR code for payments, expected to be adopted by banks for commercial launch in the final quarter.

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