The government collected $707 million in tax revenues for the first half of this year, a 38.5 per cent increase from the same period last year, the General Department of Taxation reported on Monday.
A statement from the GDT’s director-general Kong Vibol said the revenues made up 60.67 per cent of 2015’s annual tax revenue quota.
Vibol warned, however, that the second half of 2015 would likely see less tax revenues for the government’s coffers.
“Even though there is a positive result for the tax collection in the first half of 2015, [I] encourage department officials in districts and provinces to pay attention to the second half of 2015, because it is a low season when tax income decreases”, read the statement.
Independent economist Srey Chanthy said one reason for the low season was that taxes were usually announced by the government early on in the year.
Referencing the increase in tax revenue, Chanthy said that the collection system had improved significantly thanks to foreign donors and pressure from the opposition party following the 2013 elections.
“[They’ve] cleaned up some of the not-so-good officials,” he said.
The revenue came from sources such as the Value Added Tax, income tax, property tax and taxes. Cambodia’s government still derives most of its budget from customs duties levelled on goods coming in and out of the country.
In another statement on Monday, the GDT announced it would begin collecting its annual transportation tax from July 10th to November 30th.
All kinds of vehicles – from motos to canoes – will be taxed, aside from certain exemptions such as ambulances and NGO or military vehicles.
The annual taxes are levied on a sliding scale, from 3,000 riel ($0.74) for a up to a 70 cubic centimetre motorcycle to $250 for larger cars.
The tax can either be paid at GDT offices across the country or through two private banks, Acleda and Canadia.
So Phonnary, executive vice president of Acleda, said the bank processed more than $9.8 million in transportation taxes in 2014.
“The most important thing is that they already have an account in our bank, so it is convenient for them to work with us,” she said.
According to the GDT’s statement, those who do not pay the tax will have to pay a 100 per cent fine starting from January 1, 2016.