Source: Vientiane Times
The Ministry of Finance will start to issue 2017 road tax stickers in August, but vehicle owners will be paying more this year.
The percentage increase is not yet known but the Tax Department is currently accepting comments from the National Assembly. Some Assembly members say the proposed road tax is too high for some kinds of vehicles and think it may be beyond the means of people in rural areas.
A Tax Department official told Vientiane Times on Monday “First of all we considered doubling the tax on certain vehicles, such as motorbikes, for which the tax is currently 7,000 kip.” The tax for sedans was proposed at 80,000 kip, up from 52,000 kip previously.
However, the department is still considering how to adjust the tax appropriately. It is expected that the increase for each category of vehicle will be known next week.
The official said “The existing road taxes were set in 2008 so it’s now become necessary to increase them.”
Road users have always paid for the new year’s road tax starting in March, but this year the payment has been delayed while the sector concerned waits for the National Assembly to approve a presidential decree on the increase.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Duangdy, told Vientiane Times on Friday it is expected the Assembly will approve the decree sometime this month.
The ministry is preparing to issue a notice on payment of the road tax and stickers will be available for purchase starting in August.
Payment can only be made through banks. Vehicle owners can buy the stickers at banks and the money they pay will be transferred into a special account.
The ministry will no longer sell tax stickers at other outlets as before, because it is believed this system is insufficiently regulated and has loopholes that enable money to go missing.
Mr Somdy believes that by requiring payment electronically through banks, these loopholes will be plugged.
Associate Professor and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Management at the National University of Laos, DrPhouphetKyophilavong, said he strongly encourages the government to require the payment of road tax through banks. It would reduce transaction costs and engender transparency, he said.
According to statistics from the Tax Department, Laos has about 1.8 million vehicles, but only about 30 percent of vehicle owners pay road tax each year.