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Tax bonanza from vehicles in arrears hits gov’t coffers

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Tax officials and police officers at a roadblock in Chak Angre Leu commune of Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district last month. Heng Chivoan

Tax bonanza from vehicles in arrears hits gov’t coffers

The taxation department in February-March collected 3.89 billion riel ($954,000) in road taxes from 8,529 vehicle owners who failed to pay their levies by the November 30 deadline, 8,138 of whom were slapped with fines, Ministry of Economy and Finance spokesman Meas Soksensan said.

“Upon inspection of the tax declaration on vehicles from February 1 to March 31, we collected over $954,000 in taxes and more than $898,000 in fines,” he said.

Takeo provincial tax department deputy chief Chan Bon told The Post on April 6 that from February to March, police officers led by Takeo branch tax officials had inspected road tax payments and fined all types of vehicles that had failed to pay. The officials inspected more than 400 veicles and received nearly $40,000 in unpaid taxes and more than that in fines.

“We inspected goods-transporting trucks, passenger cars and tourist buses and vans,” he said.

Preah Sihanouk provincial tax department deputy chief Pet Chork said that in February and March, officials in the province had inspected 638 vehicles and fined 364 of them, receiving $89,535 in taxes and $87,573 in fines.

“Of the 638 vehicles, four were taxed. So we fined the other 634,” he said.

He added that tax officials had also reminded people not to forget their tax obligations. Tax payers can pay directly at provincial or district tax branches – or some banks, under a memorandum of understanding with the finance ministry – from June 1 to November 31 of each year.

He said that state-owned ambulances and fire engines, vehicles belonging to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, the National Military Police and the National Police were exempt from the tax. In addition, vehicles owned by foreign embassies or consulates, international organisations or governmental technical cooperation agencies were also exempted.

Chork added that all vehicles that had not been taxed in previous years would have to clear the taxes and fines from those years before they were able to declare payment for the present year. The penalty for failure to pay is equal to 100 per cent of the tax owed.

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