Government Records 16% Tax Revenue Increase in 2013

The government generated almost $881.4 million in tax revenue in 2013, an increase of 16.1 percent on 2012’s collection, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Ministry of Finance’s General Department of Taxation.

Kong Vibol, director of the General Department of Taxation, said the increase was down to tax departments and their officials becoming more efficient and professional, according to the statement.

“[Mr. Vibol] commends all tax departments for renewed effort…and additionally commends officials in charge of tax units for enforcing a professional ethic, implementing the law and improving discipline,” it says.

The latest figures also show a 5.8 percent rise in December compared to the same month last year, with $81.2 million paid into the budget.

Revenue from ports and airports almost doubled, increasing 81.7 percent compared to 2012, while the textile and construction industries saw a 44.5 and 34.2 percent improvement.

Taxes from food and electricity production grew 53.7 and 36.3 percent, respectively. Tax revenue from automobile sales jumped by 236.6 percent.

Chey San, a fellow with the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia, however, said that the system of tax collection in Cambodia still has loopholes that allow high-ranking government officials to evade paying their own taxes— especially on luxury purchases such as automobiles.

“Tax collection is not yet accurate due to interference by those in positions of power—officials who own cars that should be paying tax evade doing so by using state number plates such as the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces plates,” he said.

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