The General Department of Taxation (GDT) collected $300.59 million in tax revenues last month, or about 8.42 per cent of the $3.57170 billion full-year target set in the 2023 Law on Financial Management, marking a 4.29 per cent increase over January 2022.
This was revealed in a GDT press release issued in conjunction with a February 16 meeting to review the department’s tax collection results for January and set the work direction. The tax chief put the increase down to efficiency in tax collection as well as the deployment of digital systems to facilitate the process.
Major sources of revenue included income, salary and value-added taxes, respectively accounting for 20.73 per cent, 18.07 per cent and 8.57 per cent of the total, the release said, affirming that all three grew year-on-year.
“The GDT expects good results from income tax filings and payments for 2022 during the annual season, without any backsliding, supported by the E-Filing and ToI E-filing systems, which are solid, transparent and important mechanisms that strengthen cross-checking of tax declarations and payments,” the department’s director-general, Kong Vibol, said in the release.
Vibol contended that the digital transformation of administrative processes, combined with reforms and supporting infrastructure, has helped ensure speed and efficiency in the GDT’s work, leading to the sustained growth in revenues across all types of taxes.
In 2022, the GDT collected $3.455 billion in tax revenues, exceeding the $2.81955 billion annual target by 22.54 per cent. Prime Minister Hun Sen famously congratulated Vibol on a job well done over the department’s “highest surplus of all time”.
For reference, the GDT reported its 2021 tax revenues at $2.78192 billion, which was down by 3.7 per cent from 2020, but still surpassed its annual target by $538.85 million or 24.02 per cent.
In a letter addressed to Vibol dated January 2 and released to the public on February 1, Hun Sen hailed the GDT’s 2022 revenue figure as a “milestone being achieved for Cambodia and its people during such difficult times”.
“I am incredibly pleased with this outstanding result which is proudly a remarkable way to mark the end of 2022 for our nation.
“This is an exceptionally historic accomplishment of tax revenue collection by GDT – to exceed the target plan, reaching the highest surplus of all time accounting for 22.54 per cent, which is equivalent to 2.57407 trillion riel, approximately 635.57 million US dollars.
“This great accomplishment has played a very vital role in supporting the national economic development and the livelihood of our Cambodian people during an unprecedented global economic crisis and uncertainties,” Hun Sen said.
In a previous interview with The Post, Vibol stressed that the GDT will continue to make its reforms more sweeping, and stick to its modernisation plans to better manage the collection of an increasing amount of taxes, provide improved services, and encourage proper tax registration.
“We’ll keep pressing ahead with our reforms, build a more positive taxpaying culture among those who may have never known the law, and further reinforce the knowledge and capacities of officials,” he added.
Amid regional and global economic uncertainty, the GDT will focus on additional measures to support post-Covid-19 tourism recovery, prop up and rehabilitate businesses, and blunt general adverse effects on socio-economic conditions, according to Vibol.
Transparency International (TI) Cambodia executive director Pech Pisey commented that government agencies are collecting increasing amounts of revenue, which he lauded as a “great development” for the Kingdom, supporting a reduction in reliance on external debt and development partners.
“It enables us stand on our own two feet financially,” he said.