The General Tax Department (GDT) collected 2.07466 billion riels, or $512.26 million, in taxes in the first two months of 2022, up 22.69 percent from the same period last year, according to its managing director Kong Vibol on March 14. .
This represents more than 18% of this year’s annual target of more than $2.82 billion, as set by the Ministry of Economy and Finance – the GDT’s parent ministry – in the law on the financial management for 2022. For reference, the GDT collected $2.78192 billion in taxes last year.
The GDT raised $223.96 million through the online tax revenue data management system in February alone, or 7.94 percent of the annual target.
Vibol noted that revenues from the top five tax categories recorded strong year-on-year gains last month, led by the payroll tax at 23.17%, followed by the special tax (17 .19%), stamp duty (16.98%), income tax (14.18 percent) and value added tax (VAT) at 5.52 percent.
The head of the GDT called the tax revenue increases seen in January-February “successful achievements” of the department.
“For 2022, in order to ensure the efficiency of tax collection to achieve this year’s targets, all GDT units should continue to strengthen the implementation of measures, policies and tax administration.
“This includes: continuing to follow the recommendations of the Minister of Economy [Aun Pornmoniroth]enforcing the mandate to install flow meter systems in local breweries and soft drink production facilities, strengthening the management of VAT refunds, managing and monitoring business tax returns and improving other duties,” he said.
Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath attributed increases in tax revenue recorded in early 2022 to the general economic recovery.
However, he expressed concern that economic growth could be hampered by, among other things, blows to the transport sector due to soaring global oil prices fueled by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine; the OPEC oil cartel’s apparent reluctance to ramp up production any faster; and the US Federal Reserve’s decision to cut its benchmark interest rate, which he said led to higher inflation in the country.
Sereyvath predicted that even if Cambodia’s economy misses its 5.6% growth target this year, “it won’t contract”, even taking into account the effects of soaring fuel prices on domestic spending, and therefore on the retail and service sectors.
“And our exports will most likely suffer limited damage. In a nutshell, the economy will continue to grow, but maybe not as much as expected,” he told the Post.