Thai PM warns of tough action against tax payment refusal

Thai PM warns of tough action against tax payment refusal

BANGKOK, Nov 13 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called on the Thai people to exercise discretion in the wake of a publicly-announced call for civil disobedience on stopping work and not paying taxes.

She said she will instruct legal experts to find ways to take legal action against any movement leading people to not pay taxes, stressing that the authorities will nonetheless deal with anti-government protesters with patience.

“If people stop working or paying taxes, the country will come to a halt and the economy will be damaged. People should use their judgement. The government has suspended the amnesty bill. People should trust (the government) and stop their demonstrations,” said Ms Yingluck.

She said the government has many obligations to fulfill and warned that domestic unrest will deter foreign leaders and investors from investing in Thailand.

People should give the government a chance to do its work, she added.

Deputy Finance Minister Benja Louischaroen said she did not believe people will refuse to pay taxes and that the Finance Ministry will not have to prepare any measures since the national revenue will not be affected.

“Those joining the political demonstrations are patriotic. Paying taxes is the duty of every patriot in Thailand,” she said.

She gave assurances that the Revenue Department will not especially investigate tax payment records of anti-government demonstrators but those who fail to pay taxes will be fined.

She said the month-long demonstrations had no impact on state revenues and that the Revenue Department’s tax collections were higher than the projected Bt7 billion due to the people’s usual consumption. (MCOT online news)