Tax payments decline over seven months

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.

Source: Vientiane Times