Thailand’s tax system is set to get an upgrade with blockchain technology, which the ruling junta says will increase the chances of catching tax evaders as well as provide a more efficient system for returning tax refunds.
Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director-general of Thailand’s Revenue Department, said that blockchain and machine learning will be utilized in tax avoidance probes. Blockchain solutions will be responsible for verifying if the correct amount of taxes have been paid and sending refunds where applicable, while machine learning will track the ways in which taxes are evaded, enabling the department to prevent those methods happening in the future.
Blockchain will also benefit the taxation process by increasing the transparency of taxation operations, something particularly useful in Thailand which has seen tax rates fluctuate significantly since the ruling junta took power.
Nitithanprapas has spoken about his initiative to incorporate technology into Thailand’s tax scheme on prior occasions, saying blockchain and big data will play a role in future digital tax collection.
Cryptocurrency profits are subject to a 15% capital gains tax in Thailand, although investors are responsible for reporting their earnings to tax authorities. An additional 7% tax was proposed several months ago which would be effective on all trades and purchases even if the investor had lost money. This was quickly shot down, however, as legislators recognized the destructive impact on the native cryptocurrency industry if it was enforced.
The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission has been given the authority to shut down any initial coin offering (ICO) that fails to register with the regulatory body, although ICOs in the country are generally being promoted. A framework for encouraging investors is now in the works; coin offerings remain under strict observation.
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