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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Where do my taxes go?

Where do my taxes go?

Where do my taxes go?

Dear Editor,

I'm writing to you concerning income tax payment in

Cambodia. I'm a Cambodian citizen, aged 30, and have been working for a private

company for five years in the country. I strongly believe you will help us

improve things. Without you to help us voice in public, things wouldn't be

improved and life would become worse.

I have paid $9,000 during these

five years. I have been so happy to do that. The purpose of paying that amount

to the Government is to help improve things in my country. I'm not a politician,

but a business man. I only imagined that the money I paid would go to the right

projects such as building schools, constructing or renovating road sytems for

better living, etc.

Actually, I really have no idea where all this money

has gone. I'm talking through your paper, which will help spread this news to

the knowledge of the Prime Minister or Minister of Finance. I've been working so

hard and facing so many issues at work. And what I earn I have to pay 15% to the

Government and I don't really know if all my payments have gone to the right

use.

In addition, I'd like to say that the company set us a certain

target for sales. I'm working without thinking about time in order to achieve

the target sales. When I achieve it, the company offers me some incentive. When

the Government hears that I have been asked to pay tax for my incentives. I

wonder if this is fair for Cambodian workers. I'm not a special case. All my

colleagues are in the same situation, but they don't have a gut to talk to the

Government. They have been frustrated and emotionally suffering.

What I

really want is that the Government will explain to us more about this one. I am

afraid that all the money collected from income tax payment would be used for

political purpose, because the national election is upcoming.

And the

question I would ask is that will the Government help me when I am terminated

from the job by the company. What if the company violates workers' rights in the

workplace. Would the Government honestly help us?

- Ou Narata

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