Temple charity fraud ignites e-donations

Temple charity fraud ignites e-donations

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Many temples have joined the e-donation system. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Many temples have joined the e-donation system. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Revenue Department has set its sights on drawing temples nationwide to participate in an electronic donation system amid rising charitable donation receipt forgery for tax claims.

The department has increasingly been hearing about false donation receipts, said director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas. Some have used the receipts for sales, while others asked monks to bump up donation figures on the receipts to 10,000 baht, even if they really donated just 100 baht.

"Fraud has increased," Mr Ekniti said. "We don't know whether some donation receipts are authentic. Some people told me donation receipts have been used for sales."

While about 10,000 temples and foundations have joined the e-donation system, many others have yet to enter the system, he said.

With the e-donation system, the department can check the transactions.

"I've delivered policy to revenue officials across the country to encourage temples to join the e-donation system," Mr Ekniti said. "I believe monks like the system, but those who exploit the system do not."

With the e-donation system, taxpayers who make donations can fill in the details to claim an income tax refund without needing physical receipts anymore.

The department developed the e-donation system to facilitate taxpayers who make donations to educational institutions, religious places, hospitals and foundations to claim income tax deductions without presenting the receipts to revenue officials.

In the case of cash donations, recipients have the responsibility to record the transaction in the electronic system. For donations made through banks, recipients are responsible for sending the transaction information to the Revenue Department.

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