Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tax revenue exceeds expectations following reforms

Tax revenue exceeds expectations following reforms

An exterior view of the General Department of Taxation.
An exterior view of the General Department of Taxation. Pha Lina

Tax revenue exceeds expectations following reforms

The General Department of Taxation (GDT) collected $1.93 billion in tax revenue last year, a 30 percent increase over 2016 and well above the government’s own projections, according to the department’s director, Kong Vibol.

Following the GDT’s annual meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday, Vibol told reporters that the government expected to collect $1.71 billion, but reforms to the tax collection agency had resulted in the higher haul.

“It is a good result for the GDT and for the government, which reflects the efficiency of the reformat of the tax system,” he said, referring to the GDT’s tax overhaul in 2015.

According to Vibol, income-tax revenue and VAT collections increased by 31 percent, while real estate tax and salary tax increased by 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodian Investment Management, said yesterday that the increase in revenue could lead to a decrease in the Kingdom’s reliance on foreign donors.

“If this performance continues, I expect the Kingdom can substantially fund its annual budget within 3 years with the combination of GDT and customs revenues,” he said.

Galliano added that some taxpayers remained concerned regarding the “assertiveness of audits”, and said it would be helpful if the GDT would continue to improve its application of tax laws and registration processes.

Clint O’Connell, head of Cambodia Tax Practice for foreign investment advisory and tax firm DFDL Cambodia, called the revenue number “truly remarkable” and credited GDT officials for their reforms to the department.

He also cautioned against predicting self-sufficiency in the annual budget, noting spending increases could accompany gains in tax revenue.

“There are a number of variables that need to be taken into account, such as the growing expectations of Cambodian citizens to see some return on the State revenue that is being collected,” O’Connell said.

Customs tax collection also increased last year, up 10.4 percent to $1.9 billion, according to a document dated January 23 from the General Department of Customs and Taxation.

MOST VIEWED

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National