The General Department of Taxation (GDT) announced that it collected 13.01693 trillion riel, or $3.21406 billion, of tax revenues in the first 11 months of 2022, equivalent to 113.99 per cent of the full-year target of $2.81955 billion, reflecting improvements in economic activity post-Covid-19.

The GDT indicated in a statement that this marks a year-on-year increase of $648.17 million or 25.29 per cent from $2.5659 billion, a figure that was apparently revised up from the sums of 10.36850 trillion riel and $2.56012 billion that the department reported for January-November 2021 back on December 13, 2021.

Annual GDT revenue targets are set by the Law on Financial Management for the corresponding year. The department’s statistics show that the 2022 target was surpassed in October.

Using the usual 4,050 KHR/USD conversion rate, next year’s target has been raised to 14.46539 trillion riel, or $3.57170 billion, which is a whole 26.7 per cent more than the 2022 figure.

The department also reported tax revenues from e-commerce of nearly 22.54 billion riel last month alone, bringing the May-November total to 152.34 billion riel.

The statement said that the GDT has fine-tuned its tax rules and procedures governing casinos and commercial gambling. And on the real estate front, the

department aims to optimise inspections, provide up-to-date information, and better assist owners in declaring and paying annual property taxes, it added.

Speaking at a hybrid-format meeting on progress in tax collection on December 13, 2022, GDT director-general Kong Vibol emphasised that the department works with a “proactive” approach and “always inspires” new initiatives.

This, he said, is despite speed bumps in tax collection resulting from inflation and other economic pressures linked to Covid-19, the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, and geopolitical tensions between the world’s superpowers.

Although commenting that the more-than-one-quarter jump in GDT revenue targets between 2022 and 2023 will mean “a more stressful endeavour”, Vibol assured: “I am determined, and will do my best to lead the GDT in that mission … [in] full support of the Royal Government’s various policies and implementation thereof.”

He also listed some of the GDT’s tasks going forward: improving the efficiency of services; ensuring adequate response times for taxpayers’ requests; cutting down on paperwork clutter; encouraging taxpayers to use the “Document Track & Check” system; and making senior tax officials more adept at using the “Tracking Document” system.