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Stricter tax collection puts $2.9 billion target in sight

Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times Share:
Kong Vibol, General Department of Taxation director-general. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The General Department of Taxation (GDT) announced it aims to collect a total of $2,886 million in tax revenue this year.

In January, it had already collected about $239 million, accounting for 8.3 per cent of the annual target and an increase of 14.75 per cent on the same period last year.

Kong Vibol, GDT director-general, said to ensure it meets the 2020 target, the department will continue strict enforcement and effectively implement government policy reform.

“Improved tax collection is being undertaken as a result of the reforms,” he said, adding that  meeting the target this year is possible.

Among measures being undertaken this year is uncovering tax avoidance on specific products, including construction materials, cement and fuel oil.

Anthony Galliano, chief executive of Investment Management financial consultancy, said efforts were being taken to crack down on smuggling, making law enforcement stricter and ensuring the rising level imports had due tariffs imposed on them.

“The greatest benefit of the success of increased tax collection is that Cambodia is gaining financial independence and escaping from a donor-dependent economy,” Galliano said.

“The stability and reliability of tax collection, leading to a national treasury base, will create a foundation for social and infrastructure spending and an increased standard of living,” he added.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh last November, Prime Minister Hun Sen raised the subject of increasing tax collection and said it gives the government more money to spend on public infrastructure.

He said the government is earning about $500 million per month from tax and non-tax income, noting that the country is able to save $100 to $200 million per month.

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