Published on September 4, 2007
Jantima Sirisaengtaksin, a principal adviser to the Revenue Department, is a working woman who has played a significant role in changing Thailand's old style of tax payment into the new era of online payments.
Holding a master's degree in accountancy from Chulalongkorn University, Jantima began working for the Revenue Department more than 20 years ago. She began as a computer officer, and is now a principal adviser to the department.
Although the department began to use an online network for internal management in 1990, Jantima began adapting information technology to receive tax payments from individual taxpayers in 2001. The department later launched online payments, allowing taxpayers to pay their taxes via the Internet.
More recently, the department has added to its e-payments system by involving new forms of wireless media like mobile phones. It uses short message system (SMS) services to deliver information to taxpayers who use the Internet to submit returns and pay tax online. The SMS messages contain information such as refund details and individual tax information. As a result, taxpayers are able to access taxation refunds within three days.
Jantima says that next year, the Revenue Department will provide online services to allow disabled people to pay tax over the Internet, thereby reducing "the digital divide". It is testing an online tax services prototype that uses text-to-speech technology and tools.
"The department has started to provide Web accessibility for the disabled, with access to the Revenue Code to provide tax information. It also expects to offer other tax information for the handicapped," Jantima says.
She says that last year, the Revenue Department invited more than 70 per cent of Thailand's eight million individual taxpayers to pay their tax via the Internet. It plans to develop the system to support and provide electronic business, government and commercial services to the public.
The department also has a strategic plan to cooperate with the private financial sector under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative. It will allow private sector organisations such as banks to receive payments from taxpayers across the counter.
"The PPP will help the department to outsource its duty collections to banks, which will help reduce the costs of management and services. Customers will also be able to make tax payments via the Internet on a 24-hour basis," Jantima says.
The Internet-based tax filing service provided by the Revenue Department, covering all tax types, ensures that taxpayers receive a faster and more convenient service when filing their tax returns. It also saves time and reduces costs, she says.
"We are very proud, after providing these e-services behind the scenes, to see them being used," Jantima says. "We also believe that any problems can be solved, so we're ready to face problems."
Jantima, who is a swimmer, basketball player and athlete in her leisure time, says the department is moving towards providing web services that will allow taxpayers to communicate with the department, to access information, and to conduct their business with the department over the Internet.
She says the key factors in a successful e-revenue system are organisational development, providing customer services and eliminating tax payment obstacles.
"We want to deliver services and collect taxes fairly, by applying international standards," Jantima says.