Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Daily calls for ‘true audit’ as Tax Department refutes challenges



Daily calls for ‘true audit’ as Tax Department refutes challenges

Daily staffers stand with placards bearing the slogan ‘Save the Daily’ yesterday at their Phnom Penh offices.
Daily staffers stand with placards bearing the slogan ‘Save the Daily’ yesterday at their Phnom Penh offices. Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily

Daily calls for ‘true audit’ as Tax Department refutes challenges

The Cambodia Daily yesterday sent a letter to the Tax Department questioning the amount of back taxes it owes and requesting a meeting with department officials.

The letter to the Tax Department’s Kong Vibol, who has repeatedly said the Daily will be shut down on September 4 if it doesn’t pay $6.3 million in taxes and penalties allegedly accrued over the last decade, follows a speech on Tuesday by Prime Minister Hun Sen in which he called the paper the “chief thief”, telling it to “pack your things and leave” if it didn’t pay up.

Yesterday’s letter contests the “figures, calculations and assumptions” used for the assessment of back taxes, based on an evaluation by their tax lawyer, calling it “egregiously wrong and in violation of the normal process”.

Additionally, it said, Bernard Krisher, the paper’s founder and former owner, had disagreed with the figure but not absolved himself of any tax liabilities following a fair audit.

“Therefore I would like to request a true audit. We would very much like to understand on what basis and information you reached the conclusion that the Cambodia Daily owes” the funds, Deputy Publisher Deborah Krisher-Steele wrote.

Vibol could not be reached for comment yesterday and his deputy, Vann Puthipoll, would not comment on the ministry’s response to the letter. However, the department released a letter late last night rebutting statements made by Kirsher-Steele over the past few weeks.

A Cambodia Daily issue hangs among other newspapers at a newstand in Phnom Penh.
A Cambodia Daily issue hangs among other newspapers at a newstand in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

The three-page document takes umbrage with Krisher-Steele’s criticising of the leak of its tax document on local media, with the statement instead questioning how only one page of multiple documents sent to the Daily were leaked – and accused the newspaper of orchestrating it. “Where does the leaking originate from? So, the Cambodia Daily itself has the intention of disseminating and leaking the information to poison the situation and accused the Tax Administration of violating the Law on Taxation,” the statement reads.

Also, Krisher-Steele has maintained that she was unaware of the “debt” when she purchased the company from her father Bernard Krisher in April. She also said that Krischer’s charitable donations – totalling tens of millions of dollars – should be taken into account when calculating the Daily’s tax liabilities.

To this the Tax Department said purchase of assets did not absolve the purchaser of accompanying liabilities. With regards to charitable donations, the department stated that Krisher was not liable for the Daily’s tax obligations as he was no longer the owner, and that his charitable activities were never reported.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could