Thailand Excise Dept to Adopt Blockchain Tech In 2021 to Boost Revenue Collection Efficiency
Blockchain technology sees significant increases in adoption, particularly from companies looking to leverage it and streamline their operations. Beyond companies, there has also been an increase in government blockchain applications. In Thailand, the official tax agency is hopping on the trend.
Streamlined Operations to Benefit the Bottom Line
The Thai Excise Department plans to use the blockchain to improve its revenue collection capabilities, the Bangkok Post reports.
Per the report, the move became necessary following the agency's resolve to work on its tax collection modalities rather than increase taxes in a downturn.
Lavaron Sangsnit, the agency's Director-General, says the agency could use the technology to assess tax liability for imported products and assess other government agencies' revenue collection. Like other countries in Asia, Thailand is expecting a drop in income due to the impact of COVID-19.
The government projects a drop in tax revenues for 2020, with 530billion baht ($17.5 billion) expected to come in for the fiscal year. This marks a 3.3 percent reduction from the 548 billion baht ($18 billion) that it got last year. Looking to streamline operations and improve collection efficiency, the Department will now move into blockchain.
This isn't the agency's first foray into blockchain. Last year, the department developed a new, blockchain-based tax refund method for oil exporters. At the time, former Director-General Patchara Anuntasilpa said the system was one of the three changes that the agency planned to incorporate in the near future.
Patchara highlighted that the future tax refund system would require oil exporters to pay excise taxes and only claim refunds after they had shipped their products. With blockchain, the Excise Department would be better suited to inspect tax payments and shipping processes.
The Director-General added at the time that the Department was also working on using blockchain for the distribution of playing card licenses and annual fee payments for liquor and tobacco.
Collaborating With Other Departments
Now, with countries looking to get back on their feet following the coronavirus, Thailand is also making changes to its entire tax system. Going into the 2021 fiscal year, the Revenue and Customs departments are also expected to incorporate blockchain for their operations. The Director-General added that the technology could help thoroughly assess each government department's revenue collection, integrating all that data into a single database.
Thailand is one of the most blockchain-friendly countries globally, with the technology seeing rapid adoption in both the private and public sectors. With banks focusing on improving cross-border payments and the government using the technology to streamline revenue collection, the Southeast Asian country is taking payment efficiency more seriously.