The General Department of Taxation (GDT) has set a target of $4.162 billion in tax revenue for 2024, representing a 20 percent increase from the current year’s target. Kong Vibol, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister and Delegate of the Royal Government In-Charge as Director-General of the GDT, revealed this at the AmCham’s Tax Forum in Cambodia.
Despite speculations about an economic downturn, the GDT performed well in the current year, achieving 93.71 percent of the set target in the January-November period. Vibol emphasized that social equity is a key principle of taxation, and the GDT plays a crucial role in collecting taxes.
The tax collection mechanism has faced numerous challenges in Cambodia, starting with the impact of the pandemic. Many businesses were forced to close, adversely affecting tax collection systems. Additionally, the Ukraine-Russia war and economic uncertainties have further posed challenges to the GDT. High inflation and the slow recovery of sectors like property from the pandemic shock have added to the difficulties.
Vibol outlined the core principles of the revenue mobilization strategy, including enforcement, professionalism, efficiency, integrity, respect, and flexibility. The new Taxation Law has strengthened the country’s tax administration system, and the strategy revolves around maximizing tax revenue collection, no introduction of new taxes or tax rate increases, and ensuring equity and a level playing field.
In terms of tax administration, the GDT aims to enhance good governance, improve administration, enforce the tax base, and formalize the informal sectors through a tax registration mechanism. Vibol cautioned against linking tax generation solely to economic growth, highlighting factors such as tax exemptions for Qualified Investment Projects (QIPs), tax incentives for the agricultural sector, tax amnesty for voluntary disclosure, and grace periods prior to implementing regulations.
Vibol also discussed the evolution of tax administration systems, emphasizing the transition from manual, slow, and costly methods to more efficient and effective technological solutions. The GDT envisions a fully interconnected taxpayer and tax administration system in its third phase of transformation.
In his welcome remarks, Devin Barta, President of AmCham, acknowledged that businesses understand the importance of taxes in supporting crucial services like healthcare and education. However, businesses seek an end to uncertainties in the changing landscape of taxation systems, as it brings both challenges and opportunities.
Overall, the GDT’s target of surpassing $4 billion in tax revenue in 2024 demonstrates a commitment to strengthening tax administration and promoting social equity in Cambodia.
Source: Khmer Times