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Prakas set to control tax agents

The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) last month signed a prakas, a ministerial decision, to ensure tax agents’ professionalism, an insider told the Post yesterday.

Until now, tax agents did not need a licence to represent their clients at the MEF.

After the full implementation of Prakas 455, signed on April 12, agents have to pay one million riel to obtain a licence every two years. They need to be at least 18 years old, have a relevant qualification or record of study of at least six months and a clean criminal record.

Professionals also need to pass an examination, unless they already have a professional document from the MEF or the Kampuchea Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Auditors (KICPAA), or are former tax officials.

“It will ensure there is a certain level of experience,” partner Clint O’Connell from law and tax practice VDB Loi said.

“The implementation period has started and we’re now waiting for the documents to be finalised,” he added.

Operating without a licence would cost agents a 10 million riel penalty and a possible suspension for six months. The document also says that customers would pay a penalty of five million riel if their agent does not have a licence.

“Many business owners here don’t understand the tax system well, so they need agents. Those agents should be formally organized, so this is a good thing,” said Chan Sophal, president of the Cambodian Economic Association.

The general-director of the General Department of Taxation Kong Vibol could not be reached yesterday.

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