The General Department of Taxation (GDT) collected $1.68407 billion in tax revenue in the first half of this year, up $181.68 million or 12 per cent compared to the same period last year, it said in a press release.
Issued at a meeting on the weekend, the release said first half tax revenue was equivalent to 59.09 per cent of the 2020 target.
The GDT said two main sources of revenue saw significant growth during the period – value-added tax collection gained 4.83 per cent to about $339.4 million, while income tax collection ballooned 23.03 per cent to $664.1 million.
Of note, last month alone, the GDT collected $199.8 million in tax revenue, equivalent to 7.01 per cent of the annual target. This was a 1.4 per cent rise from $197.02 million in June last year, which was 8.61 per cent of the 2019 annual target.
GDT director-general Kong Vibol said the department will continue to strictly and effectively implement the government’s in-depth reform policy to fulfil this year’s $2.88583 billion tax revenue collection target.
In this regard, he said, the GDT will introduce key measures such as strengthening the management of tax returns, reinforcing the implementation of management and control, and enhancing its e-filing system.
It will also perk up tax collection practices; strengthen audits; enhance the implementation of the collection of property taxes, unused land taxes and road taxes for this year; and improve the handling of companies’ requests to temporary suspend or resume business activities, he added.
Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Hong Vanak told The Post on Sunday that tax collection has been largely spared the crushing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Noteworthy driving forces behind the first half growth in tax collection include better management and diversification in the tax system, increased awareness of taxpayers, robust import-export figures and a rise in domestic consumption, he said.
“Taxation has played a substantial role in raising revenue to inject into the national economy. The growth in revenue is an encouraging sign for the Cambodian economy,” he said.
The government’s efforts to improve the efficiency of tax collection over recent years notwithstanding, Vanak noted that, in practice, the procedure is not 100 per cent accurate and transparent, highlighting property tax collection.
“Once we have better control over and are more accurate in the aforementioned sense, I believe that the tax sector in Cambodia will enjoy more extensive opportunities to collect revenue for the national budget,” said Vanak.
The GDT collected $2.819 billion in tax revenue last year, exceeding the annual target by $530 million of 23.20 per cent, its 2019 Results and 2020 Implementation Plan report said on January 21. This was 28.28 per cent higher than 2018’s $2.197 billion.