NAKHON PHANOM – An Illiterate woman in Northeastern Thailand was apparently shocked when a neighbour read her a court notice from Thailand’s Revenue Department, demanded that she pay 11 million baht ($349,818.00) for unpaid tax from a company registered with her name as its authorized director.
Nui Promrat, 57, told local reporters on Wednesday that she could not read or write and suspected she had been victimized by a relative who long ago asked for her personal documents.
According to the notice from the Central Tax Court, the Revenue Department was suing Rungrujee Supply Co – and Mrs Nui – for failing to pay value-added tax, since the company’s income was high enough to be liable for VAT.
The company was registered on Dec 24, 2013, and reported income of 36 million baht for its trade in stationery and printed materials from Jan 1, 2014, to July 31, 2014. The company was liable for VAT because its annual income exceeded 1.8 million baht.
The Revenue Department said that the company failed to register for and pay VAT, and also changed its address to avoid taxation. The company registered its closure on Sept 22, 2014 – and Mrs Nui was supposedly the person who submitted the document.
As a result, the department was now suing her for 11.8 million baht for the unpaid tax and a fine. The tax court set a hearing for April 23.
Mrs Nui said that a relative had once asked for a copy of her ID card, claiming it was to arrange for insurance. She said she had handed over the document without signing it, since she was illiterate.
She said she was shocked when a neighbour read her the court notice and told her about the 11-million-baht demand. She said she earned a daily wage of only 100-200 baht and had to support her 59-year-old husband, who suffered from asthma and gout and could not work. They had been married for 30 years, she said, and were childless.
Mrs Nui said that two years ago she had received two orders from the Revenue Department to pay 9 million baht in unpaid tax and a fine. She filed a complaint with the government’s complaint centre in her province, and heard nothing further.
She assumed her problems were over – until she received the demand for 11 million baht.
By Pattanapong Sripiachai