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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Disorganisation plagues new tax implementation

Disorganisation plagues new tax implementation

As the deadline for payment of a recently implemented property tax approaches, residents in the capital have complained that the process is too complicated and people have had to wait days to submit their forms to local officials.

Yuth Vireak, 30, a resident in the capital’s Meanchey district, claimed yesterday that the district tax office was disorganised.

“No one helps us and there is no coordinator to examine our documents,” he said. “I … submitted the filled form and waited for two hours. Then I was told my form was not correct.

“Some people who did not want to complete [the form] by themselves, hired people to fill it for US$2.50,” he added.

A resident living in Dangkor district who declined to be named claimed that because some people were afraid of completing the form incorrectly and did not understand the process, they had paid village officials to complete it for them.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance announced earlier this year that residents who own property worth more than $25,000 must pay the tax based on the market value of property in the area they live in.

Last month, the Ministry stated that the deadline for collection of the tax – which has been twice extended – would expire at 5:30pm on Saturday.

Saing Sopheak Vichet, deputy governor of Tuol Kork district, said most residents were aware of their obligation to pay tax, but some had not submitted documentation because there were not enough officials to process the forms.

“Some of them wait for a long time and this is the first time for tax paying [for property] in our country,” he said.

Ngy Tayi, secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, acknowledged that there were problems in the tax-paying process because some officials were not well-trained and people did not understand the process, which he claimed would improve by the next financial year.

He added that as of last week more than $10 million had been collected in property taxes, mostly from residents in Phnom Penh.

“[The] state will fine anyone who does not pay tax for this year and they will owe interest [money] on the debt,” Ngi Tayi said.

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