The General Department of Taxation (GDT) on August 15 reported that January-July 2022 revenue was just over two-sevenths higher year-on-year, which observers credited to more straightforward and effective controls and implementation thereof, coupled with the rising use of a widening array of digital tools and solutions.

The GDT said in an August 15 press release that it collected 8.951 trillion riel, or $2.210 billion, in the first seven months of this year, up by 1.990 trillion riel year-on-year, which is equivalent to $491.29 million or 28.6 per cent.

This represents 78.39 per cent of the annual target set by the Law on Financial Management for 2022, at 11.419 trillion riel or $2.820 billion.

GDT director-general Kong Vibol said in the release that tax collection management has remained healthy in the 31 months to July 2022 despite the risks posed by uncertainty and changes in geopolitical issues and the global security and economic realities that influence the Cambodian economic situation.

He pointed out that the department’s revenues “always” exceed the targets set by the financial management laws and fulfil resource requirements for government spending, especially during the Covid-19 battle.

For reference, the GDT said it collected 11.267 trillion riel ($2.782 billion) in revenue last year, outstripping the annual target of 9.084 trillion riel ($2.243 billion) set in the Law on Financial Management for 2021 by 2.182 trillion riel ($538.85 million) or 24.02 per cent.

Vibol attributed the growth in collection figures to efforts aimed at raising revenue from various sources, and reinforcing good governance and good administration to prevent losses through loopholes and other means.

He also cited an overall “adherence to a proactive spirit”, offering as a primary example the pre-Covid development and launch of digital platforms and support systems powered by emerging technology, highlighting E-Filing, ToI E-Filing, E-Payment and the GDT Tax Prefiling App.

Speaking to The Post on August 16, Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), said GDT revenues have witnessed an enduring uptrend, which he ascribed to clearer and more effective revenue collection controls, especially those concerning stamp duty, start-ups and other categories of taxpayers.

Vanak suggested that this trajectory signals a healthy rebound in economic activity as the Kingdom normalises.

“Increased tax revenues will play a crucial part in enabling the government to fund public works such as construction and development in all areas, repay creditors, and also save for reserves,” he added.

And new investment inflows will further boost the GDT’s coffers, he said, adding: “As the economy improves, tax revenues will rise in tandem.”