Thailand Tries Blockchain Tech to Run After Tax Fraudsters

Dec 04, 2018 at 22:06

The Revenue Department of Thailand revealed that it is conducting a blockchain trial to explore its use in tracking value added tax (VAT) payments.

In an interview by local news publication the Bangkok Post, revenue department director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas is firm in his belief that such move will lessen tax fraud cases.

“The blockchain is expected to help verify VAT invoices which would help root out fake invoices for VAT claims… For example, when a company buys products from a second company, the former will issue VAT invoices to the latter and both firms can use blockchain to confirm the transactions,” he stated.

Nitithanprapas also mentioned that the move is a major step towards minimizing tax evasion cases as it would combine the digital ledger’s innate ability with machine learning and artificial intelligence “to learn tax-cheating practices to efficiently examine tax payments and compel more people to enter the formal tax system.”

In 2014, the agency arrested several individuals as it investigated more than 60 companies for defrauding the department out of $18.29 million worth of VAT with many other managing to run away from them that led to billions of lost revenues for the Thai government.

Before Thailand, tax authorities from China also initiated a similar trial in May to detect tax evasion in the country using the blockchain technology.

It is not the first time that the blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies were involved in taxes. Last month, the state of Ohio in the United States became the first state in the country to accept Bitcoin for business tax payments.