Revenue chief warns tax-evading SMEs

Revenue chief warns tax-evading SMEs

The Revenue Department has warned small to medium-size enterprises to cease tax evasion accounting practices, or face very serious charges.(Bangkok Post file photo)
The Revenue Department has warned small to medium-size enterprises to cease tax evasion accounting practices, or face very serious charges.(Bangkok Post file photo)

About 150,000 small to middling businesses currently evading taxes by keeping more than one set of account books, and using the doctored figures when filing their returns, have one month to fall into line, the Revenue Department chief warned on Thursday.

Director-general Prasong Poontaneat said of the roughly 600,000 registered small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), about 400,000 remained active and 300,000 fell within taxation criteria.

Of the 300,000 SMEs about 150,000 kept more than one set of accounts, to evade taxes. Most had earnings of less than 30 million baht a year, operators of businesses such as selling consumer products, restaurants, lending, gold shops, drug stores and garages, he said.

The Revenue Department was giving these tax evaders one month to shift to single accounts, and afterwards it would strictly audit them, Mr Prasong said.

"In the past the Revenue Department did not want to take harsh action without giving a period for the operators to adjust. We understand well that they have families to take care of. If we took harsh action without giving them some time to change, there could be a social impact," the revenue chief said.

He said that some SMEs dared to continue with their tax evasion because they thought the Revenue Department lacked the information to bring them to heel.

"Actually we have the information. As the cashless world is growing, and now includes QR code payment, the department has more information on taxpayers," Mr Prasong said.

He warned tax evaders they could be prosecuted for money laundering if their evasion amounted to 10 million baht or more.

The department had a list of tax-evading businesses liable to be charged with money laundering. The total tax evaded exceeded 10 billion baht, Mr Prasong said.


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