The General Department of Taxation (GDT) is set to launch a property tax app soon, according to a senior official.
Director-General Kong Vibol announced this during a GDT Special Live Show that provided an update on the tax department’s activities. The property tax app has already been developed but prior to its release to the public, tax officers will complete comprehensive training on the system and back-up support will also be fully in place.
“[The app will allow taxpayers who] have already listed or updated their property with the taxation department to be able to track the tax history of their property [or properties],” Vibol said.
“[And as of] next year, property owners will be able to make their property tax payments through the app, [making the process much easier than before]. Taxpayers will receive an official e-receipt [upon making a payment through the app],” he added.
The minister said the app will also manage property data including the recording of the sales and purchases of property, the history of property tax payments and the tracing of unremitted taxes and accumulated tax debt. Taxpayers will be able to update their property or properties on the app as well.
Vibol added that should taxpayers be unable to make changes or update their property listings using the app, they should seek information on how to do this.
“Paying taxes through the mobile app will make the tax-paying process easier and strengthen the transparency of tax payment. There will be no need to visit banks or the taxation department in person,” he added
As of 2021, those taxpayers who have updated their current property will pay property tax through the app and it will also notify taxpayers with other tax information,” Vibol said.
Grace Rachny Fong, executive director of Century 21 Cambodia, sees the GDT initiative as an adoption of digitalisation to facilitate and support the private sector.
“As market practitioners, we are happy to see this initiative. It will boost the tax systems’ speed, efficiency and transparency,” she added.
Ann Sothida, managing director of real estate company CBRE Cambodia, also welcomed the move. She said that it will be useful for property owners, especially in understanding tax rules and regulations on property because that information is challenging to obtain through the current online system. She added that this year was a tough one for property, especially in the commercial and hospitality sectors, but she believes it will be better in 2021.
The GDT had collected $2.697 billion in tax revenue as of Dec 16 and revenue collection has achieved about 94 percent of its planned goal. It expects to reach 100 percent of its goal by year-end.
Said Director-General Vibol: “Our 2020 plan, set before COVID-19, was to collect taxes of $2.85 billion this year. In 2019, the GDT collected $2.819 billion for the national budget. Unlike 2020 with the pandemic’s terrible effect on business, the majority of enterprises in 2019 performed well and made a profit for the year.”
He added that in 2021, the GDT anticipates collecting $2.271 billion, but that target will be a challenge to achieve because so many businesses have been affected by the pandemic, particularly in Siem Reap, where the tourism sector suffered a decline of almost 95 percent.
It is anticipated that the pandemic could affect revenue collection for as long as three to five years. The director-general added that in 2021, the GDT expects to collect only 78 percent of 2020’s tax revenue and therefore the forecast for 2021’s tax collection is lower than the 2020 revenue target.