Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM touts exemption for land bequests

PM touts exemption for land bequests

PM touts exemption for land bequests

The government has announced its intention to scrap a 4 per cent fee levied on the transfer of property when the transfer is being made as an inheritance.

According to a letter signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and posted on his Facebook page yesterday, abolishing the tax is in the best interests of land owners seeking to pass on their inheritance to their children or grandchildren.

“The law’s suspension is to solve problems for people so that they do not need to be concerned and do not have to pay for the inheritance transfer from one family member to another anymore,” read a post on his page.

The exact date of when the change is to come into force was not explicit, but the Ministry of Economy and Finance will submit a draft amendment to the Council of Ministers for review in 2017, the letter reads.

Neither the Ministry of Economy and Finance nor the General Department of Taxation could be reached for comment yesterday.

San Chey, director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, cautioned, however, that such a tax break should not be applied so hastily without understanding who it will impact.

“I think that the decision was made very fast,” he said.

“The medium and poor families, they have less farmland or land, but the rich who are very wealthy can transfer dozens of hectares and . . . mansions,” he said.

Abolishing the tax for the wealthy would mean losing out on a large share of much-needed state revenue, he added.

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