Thai Revenue Department

VAT Registration for e-Services

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As of September 1st 2021, following in the footsteps of more than 60 countries around the globe, Thailand begun collecting value-added tax (VAT) from foreign e-service operators receiving income in from its country’s citizens. Prior to the policy launch date, the Thai Revenue Department approached us to help them find any usability issues that might exist so that the the tax managers at these foreign tech companies would be able to easily use the website to register their company successfully and conveniently.


UX Discovery Process

For this project we worked closely in collaboration with the Thai Revenue Department and Professional Computer Co.,Ltd. (PCC). We spent a total of 4 weeks for the Discovery Process:

  • Week 1: Creating the persona and journey
  • Week 2: Wireframing & Prototyping
  • Week 3-4: User Testing & Revising wireframes.


Create Team Alignment

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Since this project involved many different parties both within and across organizations, it was important for us to approach the problem from the same perspective and understanding. We began with creating a proto-persona and user journey, so we could all have a general sense of who it was that might be using the e-service website as well as what their goals and problems might be.

We also did a heuristic review on the draft version of the website to identify any potential usability issues that would be confusing to the users. It was important that we took a step back from the UI design of the website and iron out the flow, this meant ideating and designing new wireframes to create a smoother journey.


Validate the Usability

Although we had revised a majority of the flow to address potential usability issues, it was important that we tested these flows with actual users. We tested our wireframe prototype with two main groups:

  1. Accountants in Thailand whose firm helped counsel their clients (foreign e-service providers).
  2. Tax Managers working for these foreign e-service providers (big tech companies such as Facebook, Google, etc).
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Validate the Look and Feel

Another component we wanted to test was whether the the visual look and feel of the UI achieved the desired mood and tone. The Thai Revenue Department wanted the website to appear friendly, simple, and international. So after testing the wireframe prototype, we also showed the user UI screens to get their feedback.

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Unexpected Insight

It turned out that the most critical component to whether the tax managers at all these international tech companies would have a good or bad user experience was not the UI or wireframes, but the ability to pre-register their companies ahead of time. Based on the intial plan, companies were expected to register and start collecting VAT right away in the same day.

However, these companies were massive with employees and engineers spreadout across different time zones. They needed time to collaborate between different teams within and outside their organziations to prepare the paperwork such as getting the certificate of incorporation document notarized. This insight led us to convice the Thai Revenue department how critical launching a pre-registeration program would be. As of September 27th 2021, the pre-registration program has been succesfully deployed by PCC and many of the large tech companies have already registered and paid their taxes for the September month.

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