Key Reforms

No.
Reform
Description/Activities
Status
Reference
1
Public Financial Management Reforms
a. Financial Management Information System (FMIS): FMIS Go-Live 1 was launched on 20th July 2015 to improve budget execution, through streamlined and automated payments, revenue receiving (collection and remittance), accounting and reporting in the Central and Provincial Treasuries. The system is installed at MEF departments, the General Department of the National Treasury, and all 24 provincial treasuries. The web-based portal an easier and more timely access to financial information from which they can generate financial and management reports.

b. Administrative reform of General Department of Taxation: Establishing an enterprise registration management system through a centralized database system, establishing a call center and a public relation office at the Department of Taxpayer Services and Tax Arrears and a tax consultation office at each department and district/provincial branches, developing a standard report of monthly filings for all types of taxes in each unit, developing and implementing incentive mechanism for auditors based on actual performance and compiling a guidebook on rights and obligations of taxpayers related to auditing

c. Administrative reform for General Department of Customs and Excise: Strengthening automatic customs declaration system and inter-linked with the port community system, installing Customs Risk Management Database System (CRMDS), implemented incentive mechanisms for high compliance traders, and increasing number of custom complaints boxes at main border checkpoints.

d. Strengthening Non-Tax Revenue Administration: Assigning an official from the management level of line ministries collecting non-tax revenue to be in charge of monitoring, recording, mobilizing revenue and taking measures in debt collection, promoting the use of banking system for revenue transfer, promoting the transfer of non-tax revenue from line ministries to the single account of the General Department of National Treasury in a timely manner, promoting the use of banking system for revenue transfer, improving the standard of public services to make non-tax revenue payment more convenient and delegating authorities and providing sufficient resources to officials to monitor and collect non-tax revenue.
In progress (Go-Live 1 launched for 2 modules, another 4 modules will be launched in Nov 2015, enterprise registration management system and call center ready to be launched)


Completed (standard monthly report, incentive mechanism for auditors, and guidebook done)


In progress (CRMDS was installed and operational in 5 customs branches, more complaints boxes installed at border checkpoints)


In progress (working with line ministries to implement the plan)
MEF's website, 20 July 2015


Report on Medium-term Revenue Mobilization Strategy 2014-2R018

2
2016 Law on Financial Management (transition to Real Regime)
Until early 2016 Cambodia had two types of tax system: the ‘real regime’ which requires taxpayers to file monthly and annual tax returns, be open to tax audits, and charge value added tax (VAT) to their clients, and the ‘estimated regime’ which was a legal but more informal method of tax calculation intended for smaller businesses. In practice this ‘estimated regime’ was often exploited by larger companies as a means to pay less tax than they would have done under the more stringent reporting requirements of the ‘real regime’, and was perceived by some businesses who were under the ‘real regime’ as a source of unfair competition.

The 2016 Law on Financial Management now requires all businesses to register under the ‘real regime’. This is a major reform by the Royal Government as previously around 80% of businesses within the country participated only within the ‘estimated regime’. This transition is a large component of the Royal Government’s broader objective of formalizing the economy, an important step towards ensuring a level playing field for foreign investors. In 2015, tax collection increased by 25% on the year before despite no increase in corporate tax rates, which is demonstrative that the General Department of Taxation’s efforts to better implement the Kingdom’s tax requirements are bearing fruit.
The law has been enacted and GDT have been taking on additional staff to support the transition and implement the Law.
Legal-and-tax-updates.
3
Availability of import-export information
Another important development is the creation of a 'National Trade Repository' website (http://www.cambodiantr.gov.kh/) which is the official source for all regulatory information relevant to traders who wish to import goods into Cambodia or export to other countries.
Completed
http://www.cambodiantr.gov.kh/
4
Cambodia-Singapore Double Taxation Agreement
Cambodia and Singapore entered into a double taxation avoidance agreement (DTA). This is the first DTA Cambodia has entered into with any country. Residents of each country, whether natural persons or legal entities, will be entitled to certain tax credits and deductions under the DTA, for the purpose of avoiding double taxation. For example, under the DTA, withholding tax on dividends, interest, and royalties cannot be greater than 10%, which is a reduction from Cambodia's 14% rate.
The DTA has not yet been ratified
Phnom Penh Post on Double taxation agreement.
5
New Accounting and Auditing Law.
The National Assembly passed an accounting and auditing law which aims to define new guidelines in reporting financial procedures to the Government.

This law enacts new principles that fit within international standards. The goal is to have more transparency and accountability in doing business. This new bill shall attract more foreign investors.

In case of non-implementation of the said law or attempts to adjust figures in their financial reports, local and foreign companies, NGOs will be sanctioned by heavy penalties (big cash penalty or prison).
In progress (the definition of the scope of penalties is going to be more specific).
Cambodia Daily on accounting and auditing law.
Reforms specific to the General Department of Taxation
No.
Decision/Reform
Description/Activities
Status
Reference

1
Online tax payment facility
The General Department of Taxation has introduced a new centralized process for tax registration and payments that includes online options. The previous tax databases were dispersed between the Ministry of Commerce and various others, which made it difficult for taxation officials to compile reports and manage tax revenue because registration was done at different places. The new online tax registration system is designed to improve efficiency and ensure transparency. It will make it easier for the government to monitor the taxes it is due, and for businesses to pay them. In 2015 the Government was able to increase tax revenues by 25% by ensuring better awareness of and compliance with taxation laws.
Completed (October 2015)
Khmer Times on new online taxation system.
2
Enhanced private sector participation
A new General Department of Taxation (GDT)-Private Sector Partnership mechanism has been created in 2016 and is demonstrative of the department's willingness to further collaborate with the private sector in enhancing understanding of tax legislation, its interpretation and implementation.
New (first half 2016)

3
New Prakas on taxation procedure.
The General Department of Taxation (GDT) issued a new Prakas on taxation procedure. It aims to reduce lack of transparency and forms of inconsistency in taxes collection process, by providing clear guidelines on administration requirements and processing timeframes.

Formerly, companies earning less than 125.000 USD per year from the sale of goods would fall under the estimated tax regime. However, medium to big companies with annual revenues superior to this threshold were able to manipulate the system and pay extremely low amount of taxes. There was no incentive to enter the real tax regime.
On that matter, Prakas 496 aims to provide a more efficient tax regime, however the government still has to work on teaching SMEs to respect their tax obligations.

In concrete terms Prakas 496 aims to exacerbate business and investment. For instance, it will answer foreign investors’ concerns vis-a-vis lack of transparency.
Moreover, foreign national CEOs who reside abroad won’t have to present themselves to the General Department of Taxation (GDT) for the tax registration process.
In other words, the goal is to get a more efficient and consistent tax regime for local and foreign companies.

NB: Prakas 496, is a refined model of Prakas 1139. Prakas 1139 is a previous attempt to improve the efficiency of the tax registration system.
Completed (Prakas 496 signed on 6th April 2016).
Prakas 496 on tax registration

Reforms specific to the General Department of Customs and Excise
No.
Decision/Reform
Description/Activities
Status
Reference

1
Efforts to enhance awareness of Customs procedures
In response to feedback provided through the Customs-Private Sector Partnership Mechanism, the General Department of Customs and Excise issued Prakas 1155 AKR which, amongst other provisions, requires customs units to publically post their working procedures, standards and timeframes, requires the Department of Planning, Techniques and International Affairs to enhance as comprehensively as possible the coverage of customs information and data on the customs Website (www.customs.gov.kh) and requires a crackdown on cross-border smuggling activity. These requirements are being effectively implemented and serving to increase transparency and the level of awareness of Customs procedures.

In implementing this Prakas the GDCE has issued a number of documents intended to enhance communication with the private sector and make information about processes and regulations easier to obtain. One important example is the 'Handbook on Customs Clearance' issued in October 2015 in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Ongoing
Handbook-on-Customs-Clearance

Announcement from GDCE
2
Mobile app on Cambodia Customs Tariff
General Department of Customs and Excise created and launched an app for the public. The app allows the public to access the information on Cambodia customs tariff.
For Android user: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gdce.customstariff2017&hl=en
For IOS user: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cambodia-customs-tariff-2017/id1218781092?mt=8)
Completed
Department Notice No. 0577