Thailand to Become the First Country to Use Blockchain for Tax Probes

Blockchain technology has seen an increase in its usage across many industries in 2018. Now that the hype of cryptocurrencies has died down, the real power of the crypto world is finally getting some attention. Pharma industry, supply chain programs, freight tracking systems, and cloud computing are just a small subset of the industries that have already initiated plans to incorporate blockchain technology into their systems.

However, not many governments had shown the initiative to utilize this powerful tool. That might soon be about to change as the Revenue Department of Thailand is testing blockchain to track value-added tax payments in its innovation lab. If successful Thailand will become the first country to use the distributed ledger for tax probes.

Director General of the Revenue Department, Ekniti Nitithanprapas said that the department wants to use blockchain technology to prevent VAT refund fraud. He added that blockchain is expected to help verify VAT invoices, which would help root out fake invoices for VAT claims. This step is not a first as Thailand’s revenue department has shown its commitment to using technology to empower its taxation system. Adoption of new technologies like big data and a digital tax collection system is a priority in order to use technology to improve the department’s performance and enlarge the taxpayer base.

The department has set its sights on adopting machine learning and using artificial intelligence to learn and study tax-evasion practices. These policies are being applied in the hopes to compel more people of the country to enter the formal tax system, Mr. Ekniti remarked.

If tests are successful, Thailand will be one of the first countries to use blockchain for government functions. The power of distributed ledger had been undermined by the 2000+ cryptocurrencies that launched after Bitcoin’s rise to fame. However, the time has arrived when blockchain will be considered for all it can do in every part of the global market instead of its ability to enable crowdfunding.

Blockchain enables fast, verifiable and transparent record keeping. This technology can help the government as well as companies achieve maximum efficiency and prevent fraud in the meantime. Governments and people across the world have been hesitant of adopting this technology because of its association with cryptocurrencies, which might be quite deterring. However, the world is ready to use this technology for its applications way beyond cryptocurrencies.