Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tax service agent licences awarded to 43 firms

Tax service agent licences awarded to 43 firms

Tax service agent licences awarded to 43 firms

The government’s tax arm certified its first batch of professional tax agents yesterday ahead of a 2017 mandate that states any taxation service performed by an unlicensed individual or firm will no longer be accepted by the government.

The General Department of Taxation (GDT) issued 43 tax service agent licences to individuals and firms that primarily conduct tax audits and accounting procedures.

GDT director Kong Vibol said this was the first time the department granted the certificates to tax agents, adding that in the past – while agents were allowed to operate without a licence – the government was set on reforms that professionalise the industry.

“From 2017 onward, we have already determined that tax agents need to have a licence provided by GDT,” he said, adding that the 43 licensed tax agents – including 18 existing firms – will raise taxation awareness for corporations and individuals that have obligations to the state.

“If they don’t have the certificate, we will not recognise their services,” Vibol said.

In order for tax professionals to become certified, individuals are required to undertake a short training course overseen by GDT experts and pass an exam, he added.

The renewable tax service agent licences are valid for a period of two years.

“We hope that licensed tax agents know clearly about taxation laws so that they can explain to their clients the tax obligations correctly, which eventually will reduce the burden [the GDT] faces when collecting taxes,” Vibol said.

Since late 2013, Cambodia’s taxation authority has undertaken comprehensive reforms aimed at making the tax declaration process more transparent and cohesive in a bid to boost the government’s coffers. In October 2015 it launched an online registration system for tax filings and payments aimed at centralising company data. Reforms have yielded a nearly 20 percent year-on-year increase in collections, according to GDT data.

Chhiv Kimsroy, director of financial advisory firm Deloitte (Cambodia), was one of the 43 individuals to receive a certificate on behalf of her company. She said the GDT initiative was progress for a sector that is often daunted by opaque government procedures that are routinely updated with little warning on how to exercise best practices.

“Private firms now have reliable and qualified agents that can discuss tax law changes and explain them to our clients,” she said. “Once our tax compliance is better, foreign investors will feel more comfortable entering the market to further grow the economy.”

Sok Piseth, president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia, a business group that consists of 160 companies, said he welcomed the move to help taxpayers avoid any misunderstandings or confusion under the law.

“Now we can use agents that are qualified and certified by the GDT, so we will have more trust in their services,” he said. “The private sector always prefers transparency.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Virus tops 84 with new cases in S’ville

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and it highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • Kingdom’s virus toll tops 84, Cambodians in Thailand rush home

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and its highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation

  • NBC calls for cashless payments

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has urged government ministries, financial institutions and the public to conduct cashless payments via electronic systems where possible to combat the spread of Covid-19. “To contribute to the prevention of Covid-19, the National Bank of Cambodia encourages financial institutions

  • CEO held for fraud in Siem Reap

    Over 200 individuals gathered in front of the Siem Reap Provincial Court last week to ask that Dim Suonnath, the CEO of a real estate company being held for fraud, take responsibility for compensating some 2,000 residents who invested with him. The request was denied. Suonnath responded

  • Ministry calls for home schooling

    Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Hang Chuon Naron appealed to parents of students to provide home education in a proper environment and help them obtain more learning materials. The ministry also allowed schools to take a premature vacation after several people tested positive for