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

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Phnom Penh condo market loses steam

    Just four new condominiums were launched for sale last year in the capital, down from 17 in 2020, according to research by CBRE Cambodia. The four developments comprised “more than 1,000” units, while the 17 in 2020 consisted of 10,866, the real estate firm reported. CBRE Cambodia categorises condos as “high-range”, “

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused