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Online System Boosts Road Tax Revenue

Source: Vientiane Times

The revenue earned from taxes has increased massively since the government introduced an online payment system.

Last year, the government collected just over 10 billion kip in road tax but in the first nine months of this year it has already amassed 58.4 billion kip thanks to the introduction of an electronic payment system.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith revealed the huge success achieved through the new method at the 6th session of the National Assembly, which opened yesterday.

However, the amount collected still accounts for only 10 percent of the 2 million vehicles that are registered in Laos. This is because many people in remote areas cannot access the online system, the prime minister said.

The streamlined payment system aims to facilitate tax collection and to make the system transparent and more easily regulated.

The government will also attempt to collect other forms of tax electronically.

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By January 1 next year, the government will also allow people to pay property taxes online via the BCEL bank, supervised by the Ministry of Finance.

The system is linked not only to BCEL, but also to the Lao Viet Bank, Agriculture Promotion Bank, Lao Development Bank and the Joint Development Bank, according to a Tax Department official.

Over the first nine months of this year, the government has collected 17,063 billion kip or 67.04 percent of its target revenue for 2018. This represents an increase of 15.5 percent compared to the same period in 2017, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Duangdy, said.

Of this, 69.69 percent is domestic revenue and has increased 17.7 percent compared to the same period last year. Official Development Assistance contributed 45.20 percent of revenue which was 6.85 percent less than last year, he added. The government’s expenditure was about 22,363 billion kip or 68.16 percent of the target figure, which was 14.8 percent more than in 2017, Mr Somdy said.

Priority expenditure, comprising salaries and money disbursed on policy implementation, comprised 70 percent of the total. The amount spent on debt repayments was 74.64 percent of that owed to private investors in government-funded projects.

This year, the government expects to collect 25,496 billion kip or 100.2 percent of the target revenue, of which 22,421 billion will come from domestic sources, amounting to 98.77 percent of total target revenue.

The government hopes to exceed the revenue target as it has received debt payments from state enterprises and dividends from the sale of shares of investor companies.

Expenditure is projected to reach 32,692 billion kip or 99.64 percent of the target figure of 32,809 billion kip.

The budget deficit is expected to hit 7,196 billion kip or 4.72 percent of GDP, while the National Assembly had approved a figure of 7,357 billion kip or 4.92 percent of GDP.