Cambodian taxes can currently be paid at 10 commercial banks, thanks to memorandums of understanding (MoU) signed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in a bid to improve tax administration efficiency and make life easier for taxpayers, according to a General Department of Taxation (GDT) statement.

The statement was issued in conjunction with a January 26 hybrid-format meeting between a GDT working group and partner banks to discuss: technical issues involving tax payments; ways to improve implementation of the MoUs; and overall progress.

The department – which is under the finance ministry – listed the banks as Canadia Bank Plc, ACLEDA Bank Plc, Cambodian Public Bank Plc, Vattanac Bank, J Trust Royal Bank Plc, Cambodia Post Bank Plc, Foreign Trade Bank of Cambodia, SATHAPANA Bank Plc, Advanced Bank of Asia Ltd, and Wing Bank (Cambodia) Plc.

At the meeting, GDT deputy director Ken Sambath commented that the partnerships, along with the e-Filing and e-Payment systems, put services closer to taxpayers and make paying taxes far easier, according to the statement.

The MoUs constitute part of the government’s public financial reform programme and revenue mobilisation strategy, he stressed, calling on the banks to do their bit to improve services for taxpayers, encourage fiscal compliance, and work with the GDT to resolve technical issues related to tax payments.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng previously told The Post that incorporating banks into the tax collection system would increase state revenues, reduce corruption, and generally make things easier for taxpayers, whom he said occasionally get delayed dealing with tax branches and end up paying late fees.

Paying taxes at the bank can reduce wasted time for taxpayers and better convince investors to enter the Cambodian market, he remarked.

On January 2, Prime Minister Hun Sen revealed that the GDT and General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) – also under the finance ministry – collected $6.145 billion in revenues last year, surpassing their annual targets and marking a significant recovery following Covid-19-driven declines.

The GDT and GDCE respectively collected $3.455 billion and $2.690 billion last year, passing their targets by 22.54 per cent and 4.94 per cent, as set in the Law on Financial Management for 2022.

For reference, the GDT and GDCE reported their 2021 revenues at $2.78192 billion and $2.2952 billion, down 3.7 per cent and 5.1 per cent from 2020. Although the former surpassed its annual target by 24.02 per cent, the latter fell slightly short, at 97.1 per cent of its goal.

Hun Sen argued that the commendable revenue collection performance of the two agencies lends credence to the 5.5 per cent estimated gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for 2022.

The jump in these revenues, following a Covid-19 downturn, came amid signs of renewed progress in all areas in Cambodia, he noted, forecasting that GDT and GDCE revenues will both exceed their 2023 targets.