The General Department of Taxation (GDT) on November 28 issued a fresh warning to business owners to pay their tax bills by year’s end or face temporary or permanent closure, and other legal repercussions.

These include a temporary hold on company registrations, share transfers, or property-transfer stamp duty payment requests; the suspension of business-related import-export operations, or value-added tax (VAT) certificates without the possibility of a refund or tax credit; or further legal action in court, the GDT said in a notice.

The notice stressed that the department would involve other government agencies as needed to enforce these penalties, including the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) and National Bank of Cambodia.

The GDT told business owners to pay their levies at the Department of Large Taxpayers, Department of Small and Medium Taxpayers, or provincial or district tax branches, as applicable.

“Most enterprises have come to pay their tax debts with a high sense of responsibility, but there are still some that have not … even though the [GDT] has issued letters to them on several occasions,” the notice said, adding that paying taxes “is the duty of every citizen, and contributes to national economic development in all fields”.

In a November interview with The Post, GDT director-general Kong Vibol vowed that his department would continue to make its reforms more sweeping, and stick to its modernisation plans to better manage the collection of an increasing amount of taxes, provide improved services, and encourage proper tax registration.

“We’re carrying out this modernisation to improve taxpayers’ voluntary compliance, making paying taxes more transparent, and instilling confidence that the money actually makes it into state coffers.

“We’ve modernised a suite of IT systems [to] make it harder for taxpayers to evade taxes,” he said.

Vibol vowed to personally work hard to reform human resource management, modernise applicable technologies, and promote tax culture, transparency and especially good governance.

The GDT posted $2.946 billion in revenues this year as of October 31 – up 26.9 per cent year-on-year – which it noted is 104.48 per cent of the 2022 full-year target of nearly $2.820 billion, or 11.419 trillion riel.

On September 28, Vibol had disclosed that the GDT had revised up its full-year revenue estimate to a range of 110-115 per cent of the target. For reference, the department reported that it collected 124.02 per cent of the full-year target for 2021.