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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tax revenue rises but at slower pace

Tax revenue rises but at slower pace

The government’s tax revenue increased for the first five months of the year, but despite recent reforms, the growth rate is at a slower pace than for the corresponding period last year.

According to data from General Department of Taxation (GDT) released on Wednesday, the state collected about $443 million in taxes from January to May, compared with $394 million over the same period last year.

“Between January and May of the year, the tax revenue increased in all sectors,” according to GDT’s statement, which shows that revenue from taxes on salaries rose 19.2 per cent, those from company income went up about 20 per cent and VAT revenue increased nearly 6 per cent.

But the overall increase of about 12.5 per cent represents a deceleration compared with the 20 per cent rise in 2013 from 2012 in the same period.

Srey Chanthy, an independent economist said slowed growth of tax revenue comes down to the enforcement, or lack thereof, of proper tax rates on the border, introduced by the government last year. Unrest in Thailand, leading to less imports, also played a role.

“Since the government ordered the reform with the department, we have slow pro-gress of the revenue as many traders delay their imports due to higher costs. And the situation in Thailand recently also affects the revenue because we import both raw and finished products from Thailand,” he said.

Chanthy added that a lack of resources in the tax department also plays a role.

“The capabilities of our officers are still poor. The new head of the department has to clean up his institution, make paper work easier to comply with, improve his officer’s capability and try to modernise all payment via electronic system or the banks, this will make the revenue much better,” he said.

Meanwhile Kong Vibol, Head of GDT said in the statement he was encouraging taxation officers to continue enforcing the law and adhere to a professional code of ethics in order to improve the work efficiency.



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