The General Department of Taxation (GDT) has issued a notice of property registration and an information update to survey the number of properties, property locations, property owners’ identities and property identities to verify information which has been registered with the GDT’s offices in Phnom Penh.
The notice was signed by Kong Vibol, the director-general of the GDT, on February 1 this year and states: “A team from the GDT and Phnom Penh Municipality working on property registration and an information update will approach all property owners’ locations, which will start from February 12.”
In the case when a property has been registered with the GDT, the owner is required to have property tax receipts and a property payment card, while for property without registration, it is required to have a Khmer identity card, birth certificate, passport, legal family book or birth of place letter and a property ownership letter or property verification letter issued by the cadastral department or other related documents.
The GDT last year created an agency to oversee property tax payment identity cards to be more convenient for owners and issued a notice on property taxes for property owners. The notice is detailed and the amount of money is taxable.
Mr Vibol recently said that for the convenience of paying taxes in the coming years, the GDT required property owners to fill in their current address, their email and phone numbers clearly to provide information on the tax and to make real estate tax payment identity cards.
“Those who have real estate, if you want us to provide a good service, please come and make the real estate property identity cards,” Mr Vibol said.
“The card will last for life because the card is the identity of the property, but not for the owners. So if an owner sells their property to another person, they just transfer the ownership title to the one who buys the property, then the buyers can use the card as usual,” he added.
“For instance, if a property is located in Sihanoukville and the property owner comes and pays the property tax in Phnom Penh by using the card, then the tax will be automatically paid at Sihanoukville. “To get the cards, property owners can come to update their property information and make the cards with the GDT,” he added.
Chrek Soknim, the CEO of Century 21 Mekong, said it is just a starting point, but a good step for property owners to understand the tax system because Cambodia is in the middle between technology and traditional methods of paying property tax.
“When people understand about the property tax, the property collection will be on time, while for the government it will be easy to govern the property tax in the country,” he said.
The national property tax was introduced in January 2011 to boost government revenue. Its aims were modest, with officials saying they were only expecting to collect about $4 million a year.
The move followed the passage of legislation by the National Assembly for taxation on all real estate – including land, houses, apartments and other building – in November 2009.