Revenue Dept eyes Bt100 bn in tax on online transactions

Economy March 01, 2017 01:00

By JIRAPAN BOONNOON
THE NATION

SPENDING ON DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE PART OF STREAMLINING PLAN



THE REVENUE Department expects to be collecting Bt100 billion from online transactions via indirect taxes over the next five years.

In the same period, it will invest more than Bt2.3 billion to set up an electronic operation to support all service transactions and offer electronic versions of all traditional services. 

Prasong Poontaneat, director-general of the department, said yesterday that the department had budgeted Bt2.3 billion for 2016-18 to lay down digital infrastructure, digitise its operations and develop a system to support all digital transactions in the next era of e-business. 

The department will also announce a measure to collect taxes from cross-border electronic transactions. 

As an initial step, the department has signed an agreement with the e-Government Agency (EGA) and Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) to provide tax invoices by e-mail to around 300,000 small and medium-sized enterprises nationwide with annual revenues of less than Bt30 million. 

This is the first e-transaction that converts traditional payment methods to the electronic system. 

The benefits are greater convenience, lower operating costs and increased competitiveness of Thai businesses in the digital era. 

It will also push forward innovation in the invoicing system. The new service will start today.

The department expects that in the first year, around 20 per cent of all 300,000 SMEs nationwide will start sending in e-tax invoices by e-mail and within a couple years all SMEs will use e-tax invoices.

The next step will extend the e-tax invoice service to large businesses next month. 

The department will also prepare its system to support all electronic transactions in the country by 2020.

Surangkana Wayuparp, executive director of ETDA, said that e-tax invoicing by email would grow online business securely and firmly by applying knowledge in trusted electronic documentation. 

Last year total value of the e-commerce market hit Bt2.25 trillion and is continuing to expand this year, she said.

However, the government is now trying to amend the Revenue Code so it can tax cross-border electronic transactions as well as local ones. 

The government also plans to announce measures to change to a flat rate tax for small business so that they will have more incentive to start paying taxes. 

Sak Sekkhuntod, director of the EGA, said e-tax invoicing by e-mail was a part of integrated online services for people and businesses. 

This will boost the confidence of firms and help them cut the cost of doing business.