Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government collects $4.5B in revenue from tax, customs

Government collects $4.5B in revenue from tax, customs

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The General Department of Taxation bulding in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Government collects $4.5B in revenue from tax, customs

The government collected some $4.567 billion in revenue from customs and taxation during the first nine months of this year.

A report from the General Department of Taxation (GDT) released on Wednesday showed that the department collected $2.183 billion in taxes, while Prime Minister Hun Sen on the same day announced that $2.384 billion in customs and excise duties was collected during the period.

GDT figures show tax collection having gained 30 per cent compared to the same period last year – more than $1.690 billion.

On Wednesday, Hun Sen said he expected tax collection to exceed this year’s target by $800 million.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on Thursday that growth in the construction sector and a rise in investors to Cambodia have buoyed revenue from customs and taxation.

“Construction provides a large amount of revenue because the sector is booming and taxes on businesses and investments are also increasing, so our economy reflects that and moves faster,” he said.

Tax reforms are also boosting growth, Heng said.

“In the past, exporting and importing goods had been difficult. But now there are many improvements in reducing the complicated process of exports. Now, import requests can be made online,” he said.

However, he said the authorities must step up efforts to crack down on tax evasion, which had resulted in a partial loss of tax revenue from the sector.

On the other hand, an International Monetary Fund working paper released last month found that tax revenue in the Kingdom’s real estate sector remains low compared to other countries in the region – at a mere 0.1 per cent of gross domestic product.

The government last year received $97 million from the transfer of ownership and property rights in Phnom Penh, GDT data shows.

GDT director-general Kong Vibol said in the report that the key driver of revenue growth over the past year is government efforts in implementing its Rectangular Strategy and Revenue Mobilisation

Strategy, which focus on strengthening fiscal administration reform.

Such measures include “the modernisation of the tax administration’s core functions and supports of the GDT, such as the introduction of the e-VAT system”, said Vibol.

The government is also strengthening tax administration and human resources, adopting information technology to prepare audits and promoting tax culture to the taxpayers, he said.

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