Cambodia earned more than $1.502 billion from tax collection in the first four months of 2022, an increase of over $340 million or 29.36 per cent year-on-year, a feat observers believe reflects recovery and encouraging results from the government’s push started in early November towards the full resumption of socio-economic activities.

Tax revenues for January-April were equivalent to 53.27 per cent of the annual target of $2.82 billion set by the Law on Financial Management for 2022, as indicated by a May 24 report released by the General Department of Taxation (GDT).

Last month alone, revenues topped $237 million, or 8.4 per cent of the annual target – marking a $111 million increase over April 2021, the GDT said.

On a yearly basis, property and land rent tax registered the largest increase last month out of all categories, at 114.60 per cent, followed by specific tax (110.58 per cent), salary tax (88.55 per cent), value-added tax (84.44 per cent), income tax (81.98 per cent), and stamp duty on transfers of property (77.33 per cent).

GDT director-general Kong Vibol credited the year-on-year revenue gains to the Kingdom’s economic reopening, the “successes and efforts” involved in the modernisation of tax administration and institutional reforms, and the manifestation of the “active and proactive spirit” of tax regulations.

“Through tax reforms, the GDT has a clear registration management system, which forms the basis for the comprehensive management of tax revenue and optimisation of the provision of services to taxpayers,” he said.

Its comprehensive IT-driven database enables the GDT to effectively monitor and cross check to take adequate measures to prevent tax abuse and bolster revenue growth in a transparent manner, he said, underlining that his department does take action against businesses that systematically evade taxes.

In the more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has rolled out 10 rounds of economic relief measures worth more than $2 billion to, inter alia, stabilise socio-economic conditions and provide cash subsidies to vulnerable households.

Likewise, the government on May 16 released a $150 million package through the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Bank of Cambodia Plc, or SME Bank, to provide low-interest loans to tourism businesses, in a bid to revitalise the beleaguered industry.