On 22nd January 2017, General Department of Taxation announced (GDT) for a “Tax Amnesty” for the registered taxpayers who failed to pay and those who failed to declare the tax up to three years from the filing date. The amnesty, however, will only exempt the tax penalty for the aforementioned failings. Since the penalties are imposed in series as from 10, 25 or 40 percent which is quite significant, the amnesty tend to encourage the taxpayers to pay theirs owed tax by exempting such penalties. This exception will only officially announce and enter into force by GDT this early April.
In addition to the penalties exemption, there is another sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and dated early of February 2017 to exempt tax on profit for Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This exemption intends to push up the SMEs to voluntarily and formally register their businesses tax in GDT as the condition to be exempted. The period of tax on profit exemption will last for “Two Years” till the end of 2018.
Despite there are some incentive tax policies, it is important to note that the “Tax Code Amendment” through 2017 law on financial management appeared to strengthen the tax system. The amendment was seen to provide a clearer authority for “GDT Auditors” to intensively audit on the distinction between the bank statement and the tax returns. The empowerment of such authority is to prevent taxpayer avoiding on provide a full information. GDT authorities now have power to directly request to the bank to provide the bank statement of the taxpayer being audited.