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Cambodian Chamber of Commerce president Kith Meng (right) and Kong Vibol, director-general at the tax department, chair a meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Cambodian Chamber of Commerce president Kith Meng (right) and Kong Vibol, director-general at the tax department, chair a meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Royal Group head Kith Meng urges tax rate revision

Private sector representatives argued yesterday that Cambodia’s outdated taxation laws do not accurately reflect the Kingdom’s current business climate, urging the General Department of Taxation (GDT) to revise the legal framework to promote private sector growth.

Speaking at a meeting held between the tax department and the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Kith Meng, president of the organisation and the head of Royal Group, said that a tax revision was needed to boost business activity, strengthen competitiveness, develop transportation and clear up the import and export paperwork process.

“I think the tax rate we are using now was made for a time long ago and there has never been any adjustment since,” he said. “We should know how to make the tax rate [in Cambodia] parallel to neighbouring countries.”

Although he did not provide specific examples as to how the taxation system should be revised, he said that with ASEAN competition, the Kingdom’s laws should reflect regional changes.

Kong Vibol, director of GDT, agreed that taxation law, which was originally created in 1993 and revised partially in 2003, was due for an overhaul despite the many reforms that have been implemented.

“We have drafted the amendment of law on taxation, which is now 90 per cent complete,” he said. “The group who works on taxation law amendment works every day so that we can send it to the government for further amendment by the end of June.”

The GDT began a concerted reform agenda in 2013 that included online tax registration and payments, and strengthening collection transparency.

State coffers grew to $1.3 billion last year with a 2016 collection target of $1.5 billion. From the beginning of January to the end of April, the GDT had already collected a total of $638 million, a 21 per cent increase compared to the same time last year.

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