Department to bump up tax base

Department to bump up tax base

Agency eyes adding 200,000 filers a year

The number of individual income tax filers surged to 11.2 million last year. PATTARACHAI PREECHAPANICH
The number of individual income tax filers surged to 11.2 million last year. PATTARACHAI PREECHAPANICH

The Revenue Department aims to add 200,000 individuals to the income tax base every year, says director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas.

The number of individual income tax filers surged by 300,000 from 10.9 million in 2017 to 11.2 million last year, he said. Salary earners and small businesses both online and offline contributed to the higher tax base.

Additional income tax payment for 2018 also inched higher to 17.6 billion baht from 17.4 billion the preceding year.

Of the 11.2 million individual income tax filers, 89.5% submitted online, with the remainder using traditional means, Mr Ekniti said.

Some 3.4 million tax filers requested personal income tax refunds.

The department will deploy data analytics to meet its 2-trillion-baht tax revenue target for fiscal 2019 after both value-added tax (VAT) and duty stamps declined since February, he said.

The department's tax revenue target at 2 trillion baht is based on high economic indicator growth forecasts, with exports at 8% and oil price at US$68 per barrel.

The country's largest tax-collecting agency managed to garner 823 billion baht in tax revenue during the October-to-March period, rising 6.9% from the year before and exceeding the target by 118 million baht.

For fiscal 2020, the Finance Ministry wants the Revenue Department to collect 2.1 trillion baht in taxes.

In a related development, Mr Ekniti said the department has developed a service standard system to change its image to a more taxpayer-friendly one.

Under the service standard, the tax-collecting agency has launched a checklist for revenue officers, including greetings with a smile, a willingness to assist and provide suggestions, and ending service with a "thank you".

The department has trained its officers to follow the checklist for a while as a practical guideline, Mr Ekniti said.

A source at the Finance Ministry who requested anonymity said the tax base expansion will centre on online business operators' tax payments after the e-payment tax law comes into force.

The e-payment tax law is expected to be a powerful tool for the Revenue Department to prevent online vendors from avoiding tax bills. The law requires banks to report transactions of customer accounts that receive either more than 3,000 money transfers a year or at least 400 money transfers with a total value of at least 2 million baht a year to the department.

The source said the department will use money transfer transaction reports for income tax payment evaluation.

For example, it is unusual for a salary earner to receive money transfers 3,000 times a year, the source said.

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