Government Sees 17% Increase in Tax Revenue

The government collected $800 million in tax revenue during the first 11 months of the year, an increase of 17.3 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a statement issued Thursday by the General Department of Taxation.

The statement says that revenue came from an increase in income taxes, taxes on profits, value added taxes and special tariff taxes, which increased 26.4 percent, 18.3 percent, 19.7 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively.

Last month alone, the government collected about $55.5 million, an increase of 11.4 percent compared to the same month in 2012.

“Revenue gains in 2013 increased in all [sectors],” the statement said, referring to financial services, telecommunications, import-export, construction, garments and tourism.

In order to ensure continued tax revenue increases, the statement says that Kong Vibol, general-director of the taxation department, has unveiled a plan to improve tax officials’ productivity and regulate people who try to evade taxes.

The plan will improve the efficiency of tax officers’ by enforcing regular working hours, via thumbprint scanning job clock-in equipment, and punishing tax officers who manipulate tax rates in order to profit personally.

The plan also includes strict measures to collect tax debts by freezing bank accounts and stopping improper payments on imports and exports.

Newly appointed Minister of Finance Aun Porn Moniroth, who on Tuesday presided over a meeting about tax collection at the General Department of Taxation, could not be reached for comment.

However, according to the tax returns statement, Mr. Moniroth said he is committed to making sure the department operates with high standards.

“[Mr. Moniroth] provided additional recommendations to the leaders of all taxation units at all levels and all tax officers to strengthen implementation of the law, job discipline and the code of ethics for tax officers.”

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