e-Revenue in Thailand

e-Government is one strategy of the Royal Thai Government. It is in this context that every government agency is therefore now moving forward to modernise its office by using information and communication technology (ICT) to provide move e-Services to the public.

As one of the three tax collection agencies, the Revenue Department’s responsibility is to collect income tax and consumption tax, which account for two-thirds of the national tax collection.  The Revenue Department of Thailand is putting in extensive effort to modernise its organisation by using ICT as the main tool for bringing about revolution in tax administration and drive towards improved level of services, transparency and efficiency.

e-Revenue is represented as the symbol of the Revenue Department’s technological innovation to drive forward towards modernisation across the entire organisation with increasing utilisation of ICT.  “e-Revenue Strategies” is therefore a ICT led change strategy with three major components in the change that includes change in policy, change in operation, and change in officers’ perspective. Change per se would certainly not be possible without ICT.

Our policy to set up and build on taxpayers’ central database has helped to expedite work process tremendously. At the same time monitoring and tracking engines in various systems have enabled officers to work more easily with the taxpayers using the current information. The Revenue Department has brought significant reforms in its operation by using the intranet system throughout its 956 offices nationwide, which also provides linkage to other offices such as Ministry of Finance and shares resources with both Customs Department and Excise Department. E-Services are provided to the taxpayers on Internet such as e-filing, e- registration, and e-tax info.  Web services is the latest innovation of e-services, which was implemented in August 2005.

Regarding change in policy, the Revenue Department is focusing on providing more service to the taxpayers rather than performing only audits. The motto is “Pay right tax today, no back tax”.  The Department is now concentrating more on current tax instead of scrutinizing on past tax payments.

When change in operation system is taken into perspective, from manual system to online system, a number of real timework process are being implemented. The e-supervision system is an example that allows the officers to monitor tax payment of taxpayers on a current basis. If they find any mistakes in the tax payment, they can give the advice to the taxpayers right away instead of audit.

Finally, when change in officers’ perspective is considered, all the Revenue Department personnel are encouraged to utilise and adopt the usage of IT on a grand scale. Training and creating environment for using IT in work process and also for personnel benefit such as implementing the e- personnel system and e-payment system has also been undertaken. Nowadays e-Revenue is becoming the lifeline of the organisation.

After revolutionising tax administration since year 2000, the Revenue Department has vastly improved its performance such as tax collection. Since the year 2002, the tax collection growth has exceeded the nominal GDP growth by an average of 8-13 %. The Revenue Department received the Prime Minister’s awards in 2003 such as ‘Best Use of IT in Organizational Management’, ‘Best Online Service to Public’ and ‘Best IT Executive’. The Revenue Department also received the ‘e-Asia Award’ in the category of e-Business in the public (Asia Pacific for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business -AFACT) in Chinese Taipei in October 2003. In year 2005, the Department also received Truehit’s Awards 2005 for the best Government Web Service (www.rd.go.th).

The Revenue Department is a large government organisation, with approximately 23,000 officers working in 956 offices across Thailand. A nationwide computer system and network supports the work of all offices and entire staff enabling the access of all databases online real time.

The Revenue Department has provided a number of online services such as e-filing, e-revenue code, e-registration, e-taxinfo as well as other e-services including the providing of various information.

e-Filing is one of  our best solutions in tax administration revolution. The Revenue Department has introduced e-filing and payment system via the Internet that can be done by anyone, at anytime, from anywhere in the world. This e-Filing service initiative has been very successful and popular. The number of taxpayers filing personal income tax returns via the Internet has increased sharply from 70,000 to 3.9 million in four years. e-Filing jumps from 0.5% of all personal income tax payers in the first year to 58% in the fourth year of e-filing (2005). Our e-filing target for the year 2006 is 6 million, which should account for 70% of all the personal income taxpayers.

Web services
The Revenue Department provides the automatic information sharing service and aims to share online real time information by using web services technology. Web services can facilitate the business of the private sector as well as government agencies. The Revenue Department’s web services have been implemented since August 2005 and continue to be further developed.

The internal work process is developed via intranet. e-Office system was implemented in several  areas such as e-mail, e-revenue code, and e-registration. Video Conference is used throughout the Revenue Department’s intranet. Several applications are provided on the intranet for all the officers of the Department for utilisation.

e-Services of the Revenue Department have proved to be a success to both taxpayers and the officers. e-Revenue enables the Revenue Department to provide successful e-services to the public.  The Revenue Department is able to encourage the public’s utilisation of ICT and generate higher level of electronic interface with the increase of e-Filing from 0.1-54% and the provision of web services and automatic information sharing to the public. The Revenue Department has become the forefront of e-Government to provide better e-Services to the citizens.