The government has issued a three-month minimum tax exemption for the aviation sector and an exemption on all types of monthly taxes for tourism operators, it said in a press release on Tuesday.
These additional measures are aimed at easing the private sector’s burden affected by the coronavirus spread, it said.
The minimum 10 per cent tax exemption applies from March to May for airlines operating in Cambodia. The government has also allowed airlines to set up debt repayment plans to be paid in instalments following the temporary suspension of operations.
Tourism operators eligible for tax exemption include hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and aviation agencies that are registered with the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s General Department of Taxation.
The measure will apply to eligible operators in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kep and Kampot provinces, as well as Bavet and Poipet towns for the three months from March to May.
“These businesses are still obliged to file tax-related documents [at the department or on its] website via the e-VAT online system every month during the tax exemption period,” said the release.
Meanwhile, the government also expanded the scope of its 20 per cent sponsored contribution mechanism to workers and employees affected by the suspension of operations in the tourism sector.
On February 24, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that all workers employed by suspended factories should receive at least 60 per cent of the minimum wage. Employers would be required to pay 40 per cent while the government would provide the other 20 per cent.
To qualify for the 20 per cent, workers are required to attend between one and two weeks of short-term skills training organised by the Ministry of Tourism.
State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha, told The Post on Tuesday that the minimum tax exemption would partially ease the burden of airlines hit by the pandemic.
“The government noted the heavy burden caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and has decided to waive the minimum tax on the aviation sector. I believe the government will provide additional help if the coronavirus problem persists,” he said.
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin said the government’s measures will ease operating expenses and help the sector retain its workforce.
“We thank the government for considering the plight of workers and employees. The measures will allow our private sector partners to continue their business activities during the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.
Chansereyvutha said Siem Reap International Airport has reduced flight movements by 90 per cent, Phnom Penh International Airport by 60 per cent and Sihanouk International Airport by 70 per cent.
Meanwhile, the government has urged hotel and factory owners from evicting tenants who are unable to pay their rent and has instructed state institutions to ensure compliance.