Tax Payments Decline Over Seven Months

Source: Vientiane Times

The Taxation Department reported recently that tax payments across the country had decreased 5.1 percent during the first seven months of the 2015-16 fiscal year, in comparison to the previous year.

Director General of the Taxation Department under the Ministry of Finance, Mr Sangvone Phanthavilay, said on Saturday that tax collection in the first seven months of 2015-16 reached 4,678.67 billion kip or 46. 4 percent of the target.

Meanwhile at the provincial level, tax authorities were able to collect 1,888.38 billion kip, also 46. 4 percent of the target. This figure was an increase of 7. 6 percent compared to the same period the previous year.

However, tax collection among business units saw a positive trend for the first three months of this year, making up for some of the shortfall in the last three months of 2015. In January, revenue collection rose by 30.2 percent, in February by a further 38.3 percent and tapered off in March to rise by 6.2 percent.

Mr Sangvone explained that tax collection has fallen due largely to the uncertainty of the global economic situation, especially lower commodity prices which has also resulted in fewer mineral exports.

Some businesses also under-report revenue and tax payments, while officials in some sectors are still not diligent about tax collection.

Several sectors have been impacted by the world economic situation and consequently saw tax payments decrease last year. Services saw revenue collection down 8.4 percent, petroleum 6.2 percent, electricity 23.8 percent , mining 55.7 percent, vehicles 17 percent, and telecoms 18 percent.

Mr Sangvone stressed that taxes collected from the timber industry were a large source of revenue for many years but diminished last year.

At the meeting of tax officials, attended by new Minister of Finance Mr Somdy Duangdy, the Taxation Department stated it was planning to reach its goal of 4,343 billion kip for the remaining five months of this fiscal year.

The department will also work to expand value tax bases at 470 large business units, which is expected to help bolster overall revenue collection.

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