Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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blockchain and AI to curb tax evasion; through facilitating transparency

Tax evasion is a problem many countries are grappling with, throughout history in fact. The situation is the same for Thailand. In particular, the country’s Revenue Department will utilize blockchain and AI to curb tax evasion.

Interestingly, the department will utilize the fundamental principles of blockchain to verify data associated with a citizens’ tax history. Normally, the distributed ledger technology stores data in an immutable form for a long time. The dangers of this are that with blockchain, governments can track any transaction and the power of governments over their people becomes extremely firm.

Further, the peer-to-peer nature of the technology enhances the speed at which transactions take place. In particular, the department will directly interact with taxpayers without the need for tax agents. As a result, the data collected over time will be the most accurate, and citizens may have no escape from the tax man.

In addition, the Revenue Department will also use machine learning to streamline the tax collection process, the Bangkok Post reports. The tax authority has access to the largest data pool in the country.

Using metadata techniques, the authority will be able to ‘train’ the AI enabled machines to track citizens’ tax behavior, a truly scary proposition as machines will watch man’s every move.

Ekniti Nitithanprapas, the department’s director general insists that tax collection will go digital for the better of the country. However, the department does not detail further how the emerging technologies will help chase tax dodgers.

It is not surprising for Thailand to look upon blockchain and AI to curb tax evasion. The country is one of the most blockchain-friendly in the region. In mid-September, the country liberalized its stance on crypto. Interestingly, it even went further to announce a regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs).

In particular, the Asia Times reported that the move is in the interest of Thailand becoming a regional center for blockchain. Further, the country’s securities authority announced that it would begin offering cryptocurrency exchange licenses.

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