Revenue Department asked to probe Prawit back taxes

Ruangkrai Leekitwattana talks to reporters in this Sept 19, 2016 file photo. (Bangkok Post file photo)

A former Pheu Thai party member has filed a petition with the Revenue Department for a tax probe into a 1-million-baht cheque Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon put in his asset declaration in 2008.

Ruangkrai Leekitwattana said on Monday he wanted the department to check whether the cheque had been cashed and if so, whether Gen Prawit had paid tax for the amount.

"If it was cashed, the amount could be considered a taxable income under Section 39 of the Revenue Code and Gen Prawit should have paid the tax on it by March 31, 2009," he said.

But if Gen Prawit he did not pay the tax, Mr Ruangkrai wanted to know whether the department had sent him a summons demanding the tax payment. If it failed to do so within five years, he wanted to know what the department would do in Gen Prawit's case since it would be the same as what happened in Thaksin Shinawatra's case.

He insisted this was not a retaliation for recent efforts to tax Thaksin and his children in recent weeks on the Shin Corporation share purchase from a nominee 10 years ago. 

"If the government needs the 'miracle of law' to tax the share purchase of former prime minister Thaksin, the same should apply to other politicians, including Gen Prawit. I don't mean Gen Prawit is guilty, I just want the Revenue Department to look into it and tell us what they find and plan to do.

"If the department finds the cheque was not been cashed so there was no taxable income, it should tell the NACC to find out why the entry was added [in Gen Prawit's asset declaration form] and why there has never been any other entry involving that cheque since."

Gen Prawit said on Monday he welcomed the scrutiny and stressed everything had to be done by law and there should be no concern about it.

The deputy prime minister said the incident happened in 2008 before he became a defence minister.

"I insist I've never received anybody's money or wanted to sue anyone. I'm confident I haven't broken any law and like all people, I have to abide by the same law."

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