The Tax Department has threatened to publicly name companies that have not paid their outstanding dues by the end of the month.
In an announcement posted on its website and in local media on Tuesday, the General Department of Taxation called on all company directors with outstanding tax liabilities to pay up, by June 30, what the department says is owed to the state budget and needed to further economic development.
“In case the directors of the enterprises fail to settle all the tax liabilities by the aforementioned deadline, the GDT will publish names and owners of the enterprises in the press soon after,” the announcement reads.
Failure to make payment could lead to further sanctions on businesses, the GDT warned.
“The GDT will continuously take serious action in demanding tax liabilities as in accordance with the Law on Taxation, such as stopping all the import-export operations, freezing the bank accounts and ordering nullifying permit and licences,” the statements continues.
Clint O’Connell, a partner at Phnom Penh-based tax firm VDB/Loi, said it was understandable that the GDT would go to such lengths to recover tax debt but said there was still a need to improve collection processes, particularly for businesses wanting to dispute their tax assessments.
“Those taxpayers who legitimately wish to protest a tax reassessment may be reluctant to make a tax payment in advance as due to past experience, the audit process can be lengthy and there is currently no tribunal to ensure protests are independently reviewed,” he said in an email.
“Taxpayers may be wary as to whether the tax authorities will still work to close their case in a timely fashion if the reassessed tax is paid before all their protest options have been exhausted.”
Kong Vibol, director-general at the General Department of Taxation declined to comment any further on the issue yesterday.