Friday, December 06, 2019

E-stamps to plug huge hole in beer tax revenue

Jul 01. 2019
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By The Nation

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The Excise Department is hoping to plug a hole in tax revenue from October by using electronic stamps to measure the quantity of beer leaving plants.



Pachara Anantasilp, director-general of the Excise Department, said that the e-stamps would be attached to empty beer containers before they are filled, making tax collection more efficient.

“We have found that the tax collected is lower than expected. In 2019, tax collected on beer was about Bt10 billion below the target. So we are shifting over to the e-stamps, which are similar to QR codes, on containers in beer production lines,” he said.

The Cabinet has approved the e-stamp method, which is now being reviewed by the State Council which is expected to give the go-ahead within two months.

“The department has discussed the change with business operators and all have no problem with the new tax collection. The e-stamp method should launch within fiscal 2020 and by this October,” Pachara said.

He said that the department was also tightening inspection of beer for export. Previously, its plant inspectors found lots earmarked for export were being illegally distributed locally.

Now, beer producers must report the quantity and destination of their products, he said. Thailand exports only 13 per cent of the beer it produces.

“E-stamps and more stringent conditions for exports should help the department improve inspection of beer for local distribution and export. Using the QR codes will tell us where, when and by whom the beer was manufactured, as well when the tax was paid. Already, tightening tax collection on beer has increased tax revenue by about Bt1 billion,” Pachara said.

The Excise Department collected a total Bt289 billion in tax in the first half of this fiscal year – about 4.7 per cent below its target. 

Tax on beer amounted to Bt6.7 billion – Bt1.06 billion or 18.94 per cent higher than the same for the same period last year, but still Bt3 billion (30.92 per cent) below the target.

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