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Laos Prepares For Tax Payments Via The Banking System

The Ministry of Finance expects to have widened the availability of modern tax payment systems via private banks in Laos, seeking to make it easier for business operators to meet their tax obligations.

The ministry is now hoping to work with more banks locally on the service system cooperation project after it worked successfully to implement its tax payments via the Lao Development Bank (LDB) and Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL).

Director General of the Taxation Department, Mr Sangvone Phanthavilay, said that the project shall help prepare towards the AEC while the tax and duty collection sector requires modern services systems to improve accountability and make it easier for businesses.

“Currently, many countries in the region have such modern service systems. So we have to do similarly,” Mr Sangvone said on Thursday.

He said the sector has to develop tax payments via the banks because once the AEC is opened at the end of this year import duties will start falling to zero percent by 2018.

“So tax payment locally will become an even more critical sector to generate income and contribute to national revenue,” Mr Sangvong said.

The project aims to make it easier for businesses to pay their tax; in doing so it will allow them to do so at any time and at any place where there is an ATM booth or internet signal.

“They do not have to waste time traveling to the banks and tax or duty offices to fill in forms,” he said, adding that “They can make any payment such as taxes, including income tax, salary tax and dividends.”

“We are facilitating them to ensure transparency and give confidence to business operators that their tax payments are going to the national revenue.”

Currently the ministry cooperates with the LDB on tax payments via all service systems, including ATMs, and cooperates with BCEL on duty and tax payments via services systems, Mr Sangvong added.

The ministry opens wide for other banks and interested parties to cooperate in offering such service systems.

“So far there are some banks that have shown interest in the project, including Vietin Bank and Lao Viet Bank. However we need to have more discussion on the detail,” he said.

The ministry hopes to work in cooperation with all banks to initiate easy tax payment service systems for the benefit of both business people and personal banking customers.

It will help eliminate many documents and steps in the tax payment process; the important factor is there is no need to carry cash, there is no need to recheck cash payments and no risks involved with transportation.

The service would be of benefit for business operators, the general public, and the bank’s customers and support the economic policy of the government by improving, developing, modernising and expanding its services.

Currently the Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL) is urging the banks in Laos to upgrade their servi ce systems and management to guarantee their quality meets international standards.

There are currently more than 30 banks in Laos, including representative banks from overseas.

Source: Vientiane Times