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Lawyers complain to Bar regarding new tax

Members of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia attend a meeting in October in Phnom Penh.
Members of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia attend a meeting in October in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Lawyers complain to Bar regarding new tax

Law firms, which were exempt from paying taxes before reforms were introduced last year, will have until the end of this year to comply with their new obligations under the tax law, a spokesman for the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) said yesterday.

Representatives of the BAKC, lawyers and officials from the justice and finance ministries yesterday held a workshop for legal professionals to address uncertainties surrounding their tax requirements.

Firms were previously required only to register with the bar association, which licenses legal practitioners, and not with the General Department of Taxation.

However, regulations introduced last year require firms to pay tax on profit, VAT and salary withholding tax. But with many lawyers registered as individuals, confusion has since arisen about their obligations.

Yim Sary, spokesman for the BAKC, said firms would this year need to declare their income, but would not be required to pay dues until next year.

He said the amount of tax would depend on the practices’ size and income, with those earning less than $25,000 exempt, but that the process of how practising law firms would pay was still being worked out.

“It is just the beginning of a process which is very complicated,” Sary said.

Lawyer Khut Keovutha said he wanted more clarity on the status of lawyers under the tax law. “We are not against the tax duty, it is a law, but we want to make sure,” he said.

Finance Ministry and Taxation Department officials could not be reached for comment.

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