Beginning September 1 this year, the Revenue Department will begin to enforce stricter measure to deal with fraudulent tax return.
Instead of just compromising with additional payment of fines for frauds, people found guilty of using fake tax refund forms as well as those accounting offices providing them with fake forms will face legal prosecution that could land them in prison for up to seven years for a single fake tax form case.
If two fake tax forms are used to refund tax, the wrongdoers could face up to 14 years in prison, warned Mr Prasong Poontaneat, director-general of the Revenue Department yesterday (July 18).
Mr Prasong said that the department has never enforced such strict measure of filing criminal charge to deal with tax frauds.
It only resorted to compromise by allowing wrongdoers to pay additional fines for the frauds, he said.
But beginning September 1, criminal charge will be brought against the wrongdoers, he said.
If convicted, wrongdoer could face up to seven years in prison for one fraud case, he said. This means if two fake forms are used, the department will file two separate cases, which means 14 years in prison.
However, the law allows imprisonment of a maximum 20 years in total for such criminal offence, he added.
He said the department has instructed excise officials to advise accounting offices to abide by the law strictly in giving consultancy services to their clients on auditing in according to the law.
If accounting offices are found to support their clients to either evade tax through fraudulent auditing or use fake tax refund forms, they will face criminal charge same as their clients, he said.
Under the existing tax law, using fake tax form to grab a tax refund is subject to a 3 months to seven years in prison, and a fine of 2,000-200,000 baht.
Mr Prasong said further that the department would press ahead with collecting taxes from online trading after recent public hearing from the people and business operators voicing support for the tax move.
But he said the department still has to await guidelines from relevant government agencies such as the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Ministry of Commerce, which are in charge of registration of online traders.
He said there are at present over 800,000 online shops.
He said tax ceiling for online trading is tentatively set at 15% but added that it might not be high in the initial implementation of the law as it could be a burden for traders.
He added the department would conclude it's proposal to the Ministry of Finance end of this month.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)