Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tax chief vows reforms to meet 2023 revenue goal

Tax chief vows reforms to meet 2023 revenue goal

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
General Department of Taxation (GDT) director-general Kong Vibol. Heng Chivoan

Tax chief vows reforms to meet 2023 revenue goal

The General Department of Taxation (GDT) will make further reforms and upgrade the technology used in tax processes to make things easier for taxpayers and ensure the achievement of the 2023 revenue collection target of $3.57170 billion, or 14.46539 trillion riel, according to director-general Kong Vibol.

Next year’s figures, converted at a rate of 4,050 KHR/USD, are up 26.7 per cent over the 2022 target of $2.81955 billion, or 11.41913 trillion riel, and were set by the draft Law on Financial Management for 2023, which was approved by the Council of Ministers – or Cabinet – at an October 28 plenary session presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The draft law will now be sent to the National Assembly (NA) for a vote. If approved, the document will be forwarded to the Senate for review, after which it will be returned to the NA to proceed with a signature from the King – or acting head of state – to become law.

Vibol told The Post on November 1 that the GDT had collected more than $2.9 billion in revenues as of end-October – up 26 per cent year-on-year – which he noted is over 104 per cent of the 2022 full-year target.

On September 28, Vibol had disclosed that the GDT expects to collect from 110-115 per cent of the full-year target for 2022 by end-December. Accounting for rounding, this range can be represented as $3.087-3.258 billion. For reference, the GDT said it collected $2.78192 billion in revenue in 2021, or 124.02 per cent of the full-year target.

He voiced commitment to achieving next year’s target, conceding that progress could be hindered by domestic, regional and global economic headwinds associated with lingering Covid-19-related disruptions and the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.

He elaborated that the Ukraine conflict has fuelled inflation and sharply pushed up energy prices across the globe, leading to a slowdown in economic growth and eating into European purchasing power, which will likely sap demand for Cambodian goods and deliver a significant blow to the local economy.

Vibol vowed to personally work hard to reform human resource management, modernise applicable technologies, and promote tax culture, transparency and especially good governance. “We will make every effort to achieve the plans set by the government.”

When asked about areas where reforms have been successful, the GDT chief mentioned the modernisation of IT infrastructure and fiscal administration, as well as human resource management. “We’ve trained our officials a lot … based on principles of good governance”.

“We are carrying out this modernisation to improve taxpayers’ voluntary compliance, making paying taxes more transparent and instilling confidence that the money actually makes it into state coffers.

“Another reason we’ve modernised a suite of IT systems is to make it harder for taxpayers to evade taxes,” he said.

Speaking to The Post on November 1, Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath commented that the continued uptrend in GDT revenues have been propelled by improvements in economic activity and rising awareness among taxpayers concerning their obligations.

He also credited the increasing number of properly registered businesses, along with the GDT’s efforts to encourage them do so, as well as to pay their taxes, to ensure an even playing field for taxpayers.

The GDT’s Vibol affirmed that the department would continue to make its reforms more sweeping, and stick to its modernisation plans to better manage the collection of an increasing amount of taxes, provide improved services, and encourage proper tax registration.

“We’ll keep pressing ahead with our reforms, build a more positive taxpaying culture among those who may have never known the law, and further reinforce the knowledge and capacities of officials,” he said.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm