‘Luxury cars declared at way below real value, costing state billions’

national May 20, 2017 01:00

By The Nation

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A LUXURY car importer allegedly cost |the country Bt2.4 billion due to tax evasion, authorities said yesterday.

Deputy permanent secretary at the Justice Ministry, Pol Colonel Dusadee Arawuit told a press conference there were grounds to suspect that Niche Car Group declared the price of a luxury car far below the actual price to avoid paying taxes. “We have already seized 122 vehicles from the firm,” he said. 

Department of Special Investigation (DSI) deputy chief Pol Lt Colonel Korrawat Panprapakorn said Niche Car Group had, for example, declared that it imported a Lamborghini from Italy at the price of just US$105,000 or about Bt3.4 million when the actual price was 286,000 euros or about Bt12 million. 

“It has declared the lower price so as to avoid paying 328 per-cent tax rate,” Korrawat said. He said the DSI would pursue legal actions against all involved in such tax-evasion schemes. “Records show some 10,000 luxury cars have been imported this way,” he said. 

Dusadee estimated such wrongdoing may cost the government more than Bt10 billion in lost revenue each year. 

DSI official Noppadon Rattanasathin said probes into 7,123 vehicles declared as assembled locally suggested grounds to believe more than half were related to some form of illegal activity. 

“Suspected offenders include local politicians, policemen, customs officials, former land transport officials and importers,” he said. 

Currently, the owners of 73 vehicles had ignored a DSI summons related to inquiries into whether their vehicles were illegal or linked to tax evasion. So, the DSI warned people to be careful about buying a luxury car, as they might end up getting a vehicle linked to tax evasion and have to pay huge taxes later.

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