The Minister of Economy and Finance’s General Department of Taxation (GDT) collected 11.70052 trillion riel ($2.87 billion) in tax revenue last year, up 423.20 billion riel or 3.73 per cent compared to 2019, it said in a January 11 press release.
Speaking at a meeting on tax collection, minister Aun Pornmoniroth said revenue remained resilient in the face of Covid-19 and the introduction of rafts of government stimulus measures.
He stressed that the measures were intended to ease the financial burdens of sectors that are vulnerable to the economic effects of the pandemic and offer them preferential treatment.
The minister said the GDT’s revenue collection remained on track due to the department’s procedural updates and revisions, as well as the dedicated work of officials.
He advised the GDT to increase tax collection this year and adhere to certain principles such as mobilising taxpayers onto a single system – making it easier for them to pay taxes.
Pornmoniroth also suggested they set up a defence system that makes tax evasion more difficult and that ensures fair competition, equity in taxation and social justice.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on January 12 that revenue growth from the tax sector has been on a steady incline since 2015.
He ascribed this to a surge in accuracy in the tax sector from year to year – both in terms of technological systems and human resources.
“Without Covid-19 and the introduction of government policies in favour of tax breaks for some sectors, especially tourism, collection in 2020 would’ve been much higher. This is another successful step for the tax sector in Cambodia,” Vanak said.
With businesses shuttered last year expected to resume operations this year, he said tax collection would only improve.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said that while revenue growth in 2020 was just more than three per cent, this was a welcome sign that tax collection in the Kingdom is improving.
He noted that more transparent collection would further underpin growth in tax revenue.
“With the current improvement in the investment climate, tax revenue in 2021 is expected to increase further,” Heng said. “The private sector craves a transparent tax payment process that provides a fairer playing field in competition.”