Electronic donation for temple will soon be adopted by the Revenue Department to stop tax avoidance

The department is now working on an electronic donation form so that donor can fill online when donation is made to temple.

The move by the department came as unscrupulous people have made false tax rebate claim of the donations they gave to Buddhism temples.

They claimed higher tax rebate than what they actually donated to temples, thus resulting a huge loss of revenues to the state from such practices.

Thai PBS investigated such fake donations and found it has ground of frauds – a conspiracy between temple officials and donors.

An investigation into a temple in Bangkok recently showed some dishonest behaviour of a temple official.

Our team has offered to donate a few hundred baht to a temple and was given a blank donation certificate to fill whatever amount we needed.

He outlined conditions in the donation via bank that each cash transfer to the temple must be at least 300 baht and will get a donation certificate.

Our team received two blank donation certificates after making donations to the temple and was told to fill the blank certificate by ourselves of whatever amount we needed as the blank certificates have already had the signatures of the abbot to certify the donation, and of the receiver of the donation.

We insisted the temple official if it was possible for us to make further donation in exchange for the temple’s donation certificate.

The answer was “yes” but was told that we notified him first on the phone, giving our name and the amount of donation so that it could be recorded in the temple’s record to prevent check by the National Office of Buddhism.

The ThaiPBS investigation showed such practice by the temple is act of tax avoidance attempt and a conspiracy between the donor and the temple.

Giving blank donation certificate to donors will enable them to fill higher amount than they actually donated.

Through this fraud, donors could then claim tax rebate higher, thus causing damages to the state.

Abbot of Wat Suan Kaew Phra Phayom Kalayano commented that giving away blank donation certificate clearly shows intent of tax avoidance if donor fills the amount higher than he actually donates.

The abbot said ” if a monk carries anybody’s baggage with untaxed items inside, he will lose his monk status immediately as soon as he steps out of the customs area. It’s serious if it deals with tax.”