As part of the Thailand 4.0 economic model which aims to improve the country's competitiveness, the Thai government has issued its National e-Payment Master Plan, which includes the development and implementation of an electronic tax system (e-Tax system). The Revenue Department's first phase of implementation, the e-Tax Invoice system, hopes to facilitate commercial transactions and reduce storage and paper costs and will replace the current paper-based tax invoice record keeping system.

The Revenue Department has published the main concepts and full draft of the draft e-payment tax law on its website and has created an online comment survey form in order to receive feedback from the private sector's perspective.

a. The Director-General of the Revenue Department (the DG) is authorized to set the criteria, methods, and conditions for filing tax returns via electronic methods, according to the Electronic Transactions Act, B.E. 2544 (2001).

b. The person, responsible for deducting and remitting withholding tax who pays the taxable income to the person liable to tax under the method of cash transfer or other similar methods which is processed by the banks under the Financial Institutions Businesses Act or other specific laws, or by other persons as specified in the Ministerial Regulations, can choose whether to deduct and remit withholding tax via a bank or other persons as specified in the Ministerial Regulations.

c. The bank or other persons under b. is responsible for receiving payment and remitting it to the Revenue Department under the criteria, methods, and conditions prescribed by the DG. The liability in case of non-remittance or wrongly remitted is limited to the amount of tax received or wrongly remitted, and the surcharge at 1.5% per month of the amount of tax received or wrongly remitted.

d. The DG is authorized to grant exemptions on the filings on personal income tax withheld to payers of income who are individuals, partnerships, companies, associations, or groups of persons which has withheld and remitted the withholding tax to the Revenue Department via a bank under the Financial Institutions Businesses Act or other specific laws, or by other persons as specified in the Ministerial Regulations under b.

e. Tax invoices, debit notes, credit notes, and receipts may be prepared and issued in an electronic data format according to the Electronic Transactions Act, B.E. 2544 (2001) and by the criteria, methods, and conditions prescribed by the DG.

f. The DG is authorized to require the inclusion of additional particulars in a receipt besides those proscribed in section 105 bis of the Revenue Code.

g. The Revenue Department is authorized to issue an order to the possessor of accounting and documentary, evidence or necessary information regarding tax payments of any persons to submit those accounting and documentary, evidence or necessary information for the purposes of correct and fair tax payment by not using any power according to sections 19, 23, and 88/4, to obtain those documents. If the data is stored as electronic data or computer traffic data, the DG is authorized to issue an order in writing for the Revenue Department officials to verify or access that electronic data or computer traffic data.

The Revenue Department has published the above concept of e-payment law and the draft e-payment law for public hearing from now on until 5 September 2017. After taking into account the private sector perspectives, the Revenue Department will then propose a draft of the e-payment tax law to the Cabinet for its consideration.

Access the link for the private sector to provide its views here.