Junta seeks to collect more than 1 million dollars as taxes from Myanmar workers in Thailand

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Mawlamyine, 31 December

The military council is attempting to collect more than one million US dollars in taxes by issuing official documents to Myanmar citizens, who are working in Thailand due to poverty and internal conflict.

The Bangkok-based Myanmar embassy of the junta’s Ministry of Labor said it will issue a certificate of identity (CI) for 900,000 undocumented migrant workers nominated by Thai employers.

Each Myanmar citizen who wants a certificate of identity (CI) will have to pay 600 Thai baht as taxes for four months, and the military council will receive money equivalent to 1.5 million US dollars.

The embassy announced that Myanmar workers in Thailand will have to pay the military regime 150 baht as monthly tax starting from October this year, and this must be paid at the time of passport renewal at the consulate. The embassy said that it will not provide passport service to those who fail to do so.

“On the other hand, workers have to pay a 2 percent tax. The military council’s move may lead to more undocumented Myanmar in Thailand,” U Htoo Chit, director of the Foundation for Education and Development (FED), which handles Myanmar labor issues, told Than Lwin Times.

Starting from the first week of January 2024, the military regime will open three mobile units in Samut Sakhun, Samut Prakan, Chonburi, Patong, and Surat Provinces in Thailand and issue CI.

Previously, the workers had to pay 500 baht for the visa fee to the Thai government and 700 baht to the Myanmar government for CI.

“I don’t want to pay taxes to the military council, but an official document is important for workers to live abroad legally. That’s why we must pay money. I believe that the revolutionary forces will understand this,” said a Myanmar migrant worker.

The CI, which will generate tax for the military council, is a certificate of identity issued by the agreement of the two governments to allow Myanmar citizens who have no passports living in Thailand to hold visas.

Currently, there may be five million Myanmar citizens working legally and illegally in Thailand, and they are subject to the strict rules of the Thai government and fraud by Myanmar brokers on a daily basis, according to labor aid organizations.

The military council, which is in desperate need of foreign currency, is trying to demand money from Myanmar citizens who work in Southeast Asian countries, including neighboring countries, under the name of taxes.

The Myanmar embassies based in Thailand, China, Singapore, and Korea have informed migrant workers to pay taxes in the past few days.

Myanmar migrant workers are threatened with having their MOU license terminated if they do not transfer money through legal channels or pay income tax.

The workers are hoping that the National Unity Government (NUG) will connect with the relevant countries and arrange for the workers not to pay taxes.

News – Than Lwin Times

Photo- CJ

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