Revenue Department targets online vendors
Aim is 1 million taxpayers join base
The Revenue Department aims to raise the number of individual taxpayers by 10% this year, with a focus on online vendors outside the tax system.
The country's largest tax-collecting agency wants to increase the individual taxpayer base by 1 million this year, using data analytics to probe income tax avoidance, said director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas.
The department plans to summon individual online sellers who have avoided tax payment, he said. The department has data on how many online vendors pay taxes.
Some 10 million individuals are filing income tax returns, but only 3-4 million are liable for tax payments.
The department does not expect individual tax payments to increase, but total value always increases in tandem with the larger taxpayer base, said Mr Ekniti.
"I want to call on taxpayers who do business online to submit tax refund filings correctly as we have information from IT systems that let us know how many people are trading online. We don't want to go into an in-depth probe or summon them," he said.
At the end of February, 3.2 million taxpayers had filed income tax returns, up from 2.7 million a year earlier.
Of the total 3.2 million taxpayers, 3 million, or 90%, filed tax returns online. Out of 1.5 million who requested tax refunds, 1 million have received them so far.
Mr Ekniti predicted more than 10 million taxpayers will file income tax returns for the 2018 tax year.
He said the department proposed to amend the Revenue Code, waiving fines for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that submit financial accounts correctly to open the opportunity for them to comply with the single financial account scheme until the end of June.
Around 400,000 SME operators registered for the single financial account programme but 50,000 of them still understated tax payments.
The amended Revenue Code is being vetted by the National Legislative Assembly.
Mr Ekniti said the amendment does not offer amnesty to SMEs who evaded tax payment as only fines are waived, but they are still required to pay tax.
On Monday, the department launched PIT Digital Services, which includes chatbots, to increase service efficiency.
The department adopted a taxpayer-centred approach to improve services, hoping to meet the needs of taxpayers.