The Ministry of Economy and Finance’s General Department of Taxation (GDT) on December 11 announced that it will terminate the electronic value added tax refund system (E-VAT Refund System) on January 1.
But it stressed that taxpayers would still have access to its features and functions through its purportedly more comprehensive electronic filing system (E-Filing System).
This, it said, would provide taxpayers a more effective, transparent, quick and convenient online portal to file tax returns.
The GDT said it “would like to inform all the companies and enterprises that the GDT previously launched the E-VAT Refund System under letter number 001 – issued on January 9, 2019.
“Then, another announcement, letter number 003, dated February 27, 2020, provided taxpayers the choice to use either of the two systems to declare taxes.
“The GDT firmly hopes that all companies and enterprises will use the E-Filing System effectively,” it said.
Anthony Galliano, the group CEO of financial services firm Cambodian Investment Management, told The Post that the recent launch of the E-Filing System was a breakthrough achievement which catapults the Kingdom’s tax system into the digital universe.
He said the timing is impeccably perfect, given the limitations and restrictions on human interaction due to Covid, which E-Filing has now essentially eliminated.
“E-Filing now allows taxpayers to download the required data for their tax return directly into the system, disposing of the need to lodge tax filings at the tax branch.
“This saves time and money on travelling back and forth with an extra bonus of being environmentally friendly, and should substantially reduce paperwork,” Galliano said.
He explained that the system still has its drawbacks and may require further refinement.
Taxpayers have the option of paying $100 per annum which allows file downloads, typically from accounting systems or spreadsheets, rather than having to rekey, eliminating the dreaded costs and risks of double entry, he said. System access is available to one tax payer per payment.
He said, the alternatively free browser version requires direct keying with no download capacity, which is acceptable for small taxpayers, but a laborious burden on medium and larger scale taxpayers with higher volume.
“The E-VAT system was meant to safeguard against false claiming of VAT and through matching Tax Invoices, ensure proper use of VAT credits and payment of VAT.
“One of the most appreciated functions in the E-VAT system was ability to claim VAT refunds, which is not yet available in the E-Filing System. Taxpayers will unfortunately have to wait for an upgrade, which may not be a priority given the times,” Galliano said.