Thailand turns to blockchain to improve revenue collection

Thailand is turning to blockchain technology to improve its revenue collection, a top tax agency official has revealed. The country has already begun integrating blockchain in the oil industry, with the launch scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.

Thailand’s economy, like every other country globally, has been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. However, instead of raising the taxes it levies, the Thai government has focused on streamlining its revenue collection as it seeks to rebuild the economy. Blockchain technology has emerged as the solution, local newspaper Bangkok Post reports.

As per the paper, the country’s Excise Department will integrate blockchain technology to administer revenue collection for the fiscal year 2021. The department’s director general, Lavaron Sangsnit revealed recently that the revenue and customs divisions will both integrate blockchain technology.

Sangsnit believes that blockchain will enable the department to identify “the price, import duty and tax liability of each imported product.”

He stated, “The technology can help thoroughly assess revenue collection for each department and integrate revenue collection of the three government departments into a single database. With blockchain, tax evasion should be difficult because the three departments will conduct tax audits in coordination with each other.”

Sangsnit revealed that his department has already started building a blockchain platform to assess tax returns for oil products. The platform is eyed to launch in the first quarter of 2021.

On why the department started integrating blockchain in the oil export industry before any other, Sangsnit revealed that it was because oil is the largest tax revenue generator in the country. It accounts for two-thirds of the Excise Department’s total revenue collection, approximately 200 billion baht ($6.7 billion) annually, he revealed.

“Blockchain should be able to help determine whether oil is actually exported out of Thailand or if it is circulated for sale domestically,” he told reporters.

Thailand has been exploring blockchain technology for a number of uses in the last two years. As CoinGeek reported in August, the country is seeking to store court records on a blockchain platform. The Thai Office of Courts of Justice revealed that it’s seeking to migrate its entire judicial information to the blockchain platform by 2021.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has also been exploring a CBDC which it has released to a few large enterprises. BoT has also partnered with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on its CBDC quest, seeking to use the digital baht in transactions between the two Asian nations.

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