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

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement