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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t collects $300M in taxes in 1st quarter

Gov’t collects $300M in taxes in 1st quarter

The government received over $300 million in tax revenues during the first quarter of this year, up 48 per cent from 2014, according to a statement from the General Department of Taxation released on Monday.

The tax department received about $323 million for 2015’s first quarter, compared to $217 million for the corresponding period in 2014.

“Comparing the [two quarters] showed that the main revenue increases came from a 57.8 per cent increase in receipts of [corporate] income tax, a 29.2 per cent increase in salary tax, a 42.7 increase in value added tax, and a 26.7 increase in special tax [on certain goods and services],” said Kong Vibol, director general of the GDT.

The Cambodian government receives the bulk of its revenues from the GDT and the Department of Customs and Excise, which levies fees on the imports and exports.

The GDT started an online business registration system late last year in order to improve tax collection.

However, the government also upped the lowest taxable salary threshold from 500,000 riel ($125) to 800,000 riel ($200) in October, which Prime Minister Hun Sen said at the time would cost the government $10 million this year.

Grant Knuckey, the CEO of Australian-owned ANZ Royal Group, said that better tax collection would lead to an improvement in the provision of public services.

“I think these are very positive numbers from the perspective of the country overall. In order to improve the core institutions of the country – the civil service, health services, and education – government revenues need to be significantly higher,” he said.

“So long as this is simply about improved enforcement rather than additional burdens, the business community should be supportive.”

In 2014 the GDT collected more than $1.06 billion in tax revenue, up by about 17.7 per cent on the $900 million collected in 2013.

Taxes on imports and exports, via the General Department of Customs and Excise, yielded $1.34 billion last year, up from more than $1 billion in 2013.

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