Tax revenue increased over the first 10 months of the fiscal year because of an increase in company profits, the scrapping of
tax breaks, and tougher enforcement by tax officials, according to the he Revenue Department. The department's deputy director-general, Wichai Chuengrakkiart, said the real estate, automobile manufacturing, banking and electronic sectors were among those who contributed more tax because of healthy profits. Based on these trends, higher tax revenue collection would continue for at least another two or three years, he said. Another major factor for the increase in revenue was the scrapping of tax breaks for firms badly affected by the 1997 crisis. The Revenue Department's tax breaks were given to allow companies to allow firms to gradually deduct their crisis-related losses from net incomes over five years. Some of the companies worst affected by the financial crisis did not pay any tax over the five-year period. Now, almost all of these companies are required to pay full corporate income taxes. Corporate tax collection in July was 16-per-cent higher than its target, reaching Bt9.14 billion. Corporate tax revenue during the first 10 months of this fiscal year amounted to Bt139.5 billion, 31-per-cent higher than the target. Personal income tax revenue was in July was Bt8.89 billion, only 0.66 per cent higher than the estimate. It was Bt99.36 billion for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, 1.72 per cent higher than the target. The small increase in personal income tax revenue was blamed on the lower interest rates and tax exemptions for taxpayers with an annual income below Bt80,000. Revenue from VAT was Bt215.64 billion in the first 10 months, or about 12 per cent higher than its target. Overall tax revenue was likely to reach Bt620 billion this fiscal year, exceeding the target of Bt559 billion. Meanwhile, the Revenue Department said it was to pay closer attention to tax collection from the entertainment industry. Tax officials had been monitoring hotels, discos, massage parlours and other entertainment venues during the evening, Wichai said. "We've asked our officials not to go to sleep before midnight," Wichai said. "If we did not work at night we would not be able to collect adequate information from entertainment venues, particularly in big cities like Bangkok." The department is closely monitoring tax payments by medical doctors, engineers, accountants and lawyers. It had also set its sights on underground businesses, Wichai said. The department's investment in technology has contributed to higher tax collections because it has made it easier to collect tax payments from both individuals and firms. Wichai said the department was keen to increase the salaries of officials to compensate for their hard work.
Credit : Wichit Chaitrong THE NATION