The income-tax preparation process is set to get a whole lot easier with the General Department of Taxation’s (GDT) electronic filing system that is scheduled to go online next month.
GDT’s parent ministry, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, issued Directive No 003 dated February 20 which gave GDT the order to launch the online Tax on Income (ToI) E-filing system, GDT said in a February 18 announcement released to the public on February 22.
GDT said the ToI E-filing system “aims to provide a better service for taxpayers as well as to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of revenue collection, and ensure transparency, convenience, punctuality, expeditiousness and confidence in the services [we] provide”.
Self-assessment taxpayers must file their income tax returns through the ToI E-filing system from March, it added.
Anthony Galliano, the group CEO of financial services firm Cambodian Investment Management, told The Post that the dawn of E-filing has transformed the tax preparation and filing process in the Kingdom from a physically-interactive, time-consuming and low-productivity process, with unnecessary multi-party involvement – such as with GDT and the banks – into a substantially automated and integrated system.
Lauding it as one of GDT’s “greatest achievements”, he said the system is revolutionising tax filing into the modern digital age.
Despite numerous delays and “early teething pains”, he said the E-filing system has led to a surge in productivity and error-prevention, and in the Covid age, has substantially cut down on travelling, waiting times and physical interaction.
“The Tax on Income is a natural progression and another advancement of the system, from just only monthly tax processing. The more comprehensive the system, the greater the value for both the taxpayer and GDT. Ideally all tax-related processing will eventually be automated,” Galliano said.
In line with GDT’s technological modernisation, he said, tax collection is bound to improve considerably with taxpayers’ data derived from monthly and annual filings at GDT’s disposal on their database.
“This should make it much easier to audit taxpayers and analyse data and facilitate the detection of tax evasion, under-reporting and errors and omissions. As a tax agent I applaud the GDT for its continuing refinement and improvement of the E-filing system.
“I take great comfort in the environmental, safety and productivity improvements that all parties have benefited from.
“The recent launch of the Online Business Registration System and continuing advances of E-filing have resulted in an upsurge of the Kingdom’ reputation in terms of ease of doing business,” Galliano said.