Minimum tax poised to fall

Motorists travel past the General Department of Taxation headquarters on Russian and Mao Tse-Tung boulevards in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

Kali Kotoski, The Phnom Penh Post
Fri, 23 September 2016

Tax professionals have hailed the government’s declared intention to scrap one of the most controversial elements of Cambodia’s tax system, eliminating the 1 percent minimum tax that increases the tax burden of companies and constricts their cash flows.

Speaking during a tax forum on Wednesday, Kong Vibol, director of the General Department of Taxation (GDT), announced that the government would consider abolishing the 1 percent minimum tax, a levy calculated on the basis of monthly turnover that is distinct from the annual tax on profit.

The monthly tax liability is typically viewed as a burden to retailers and manufacturers – especially in the garment sector – that generate high amounts of revenue, but operate with low margins.

“We are considering abolishing the 1 percent minimum tax,” Vibol said. “But this can only be done if you have adequate audited bookkeeping.”

While Vibol did not give a definitive timeline for eliminating the tax, he said the GDT was trying to work “quickly” with the Ministry of Economy and Finance to issue a prakas in the coming months.

However, while the government is still considering the amendment, it would not be applied as a free ride.

“If we do this, we have to be partners and you have to be transparent with the tax department,” Vibol said.

“If we find that you do not have audited bookkeeping, we would put you back on the 1 percent minimum tax.”

Clint O’Connell, head of Cambodia Tax Practice for foreign investment advisory and tax firm DFDL, said yesterday that the elimination of the 1 percent minimum tax would make a “big difference” to ease up cash flows for companies that operate at low margins.

“The minimum tax comes as an additional monthly cost when companies already pay tax on profit annually,” he said. He said if the amendment was finalised, it would likely start at the lower end of the corporate spectrum as a way to entice companies that previously operated under the estimated tax regime to become more tax compliant. However, this could prove problematic as these small companies lacked firm accounting principles.

While O’Connell noted that the tax code revision could diminish the government’s monthly contribution to state coffers, he expected it would be accompanied by better oversight.

“I think as a result, there would be a lot more scrutiny on Cambodian taxpayers that are operating as if on a tax-loss basis,” he said.

Meanwhile, the removal of the minimum tax could encourage more international companies to invest in Cambodia, as the tax has been cited as a hindrance to investors looking to enter the local market.

“Increased cash flows make a big difference, and a reduction of the minimum tax has already been applied to certain members in the garment industry,” O’Connell noted.

Anthony Galliano, chairman of the EuroCham tax committee, said that if the change is adopted, he hoped the government would also consider scrapping the monthly prepayment of tax on profit.

“The prepayment and minimum tax of 1 percent severely penalises international companies that have high revenues but with low margins,” he said. “It has accelerated companies that eventually were put out of business.”

He added that the private sector has been pushing for these revisions, and if adopted they would help new companies and manufacturers gain a foothold and create a steady flow of foreign direct investment.

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World’s shortest international flight starts service next month

Foxnews, September 21, 2016

An Austrian airline is about to make history by offering the world’s shortest international flight.

Buckle up. But not for long.  (People’s Viennaline)

The previous record was a 10 minute flight between Vienna, Austria and Slovakia’s capital Bratislava.

Though an eight minute flight might seem like an extravagance, especially at nearly $45 one way, it’s not the world’s shortest flight. Europe’s shortest domestic flight is actually between two Scottish villages– Westray and Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands—which is acknowledged by Guinness as the world’s shortest commercial flight.

According to German news site BizTravel, the St. Gallen-Friedrichshafen route is being offered exclusively by Austrian airline People’s Viennaline and will start taking passengers across the pond—literally—Oct. 31.

In March, Emirates launched the world’s longest flight, overtaking Qantas airlines’  8,576 miles route from Dallas to Sydney, Australia route. Emirates’ 8,819-mile nonstop route between Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Auckland, New Zealand takes about 17 hours and 15 minutes.

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Phnom Penh rolls out new surveillance cameras

Authorities monitor footage from newly installed surveillance cameras in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Khouth Sophak Chakrya, The Phnom Penh Post
Fri, 23 September 2016

In the lead-up to the Water Festival in November, municipal authorities in Phnom Penh have installed nearly 100 of the 600 surveillance cameras that Governor Pa Socheatvong pledged to fit before the festival begins.

“As planned, we have to install about 600 surveillance cameras in all 12 districts in Phnom Penh before the Water Festival celebrations from November 13-15,” Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Khuong Sreng said yesterday. “According to the work speed, we expect it will be completed as planned.”

The cameras, which are being installed to improve public safety and cut robbery rates, were installed on lamp-posts near parks, traffic lights and T-junctions in Daun Penh, Chamkarmon, Prampi Makara and Tuol Kork districts.

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Head-on collision kills three in Kampong Cham

People inspect the scene of a fatal accident yesterday in Kampong Cham province where three people were killed and seven other injured. Photo supplied

Khouth Sophak Chakrya, The Phnom Penh Post
Fri, 23 September 2016

At least three people were killed and seven were seriously injured after a head-on collision between a truck and a bus on National Road 6 in Kampong Cham’s Cheung Prey district yesterday morning.

Kampong Cham provincial police chief Ben Roth said truck driver Lem Fa, 32, and bus passengers Bun Dany, 36, and Ath Khorn, 59, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The bus driver and six passengers sustained serious injuries.

“Based on a technical inspection and measurements done at the site, the truck, which was carrying sand, caused the accident, because it drove into the bus’s lane and collided with it,” Roth said.

Cheung Prey district deputy police chief Cheang Se said that although authorities did not yet know the names of the companies that owned the vehicles, they were tracking them based on their registration plates.

Se said only a small amount of sand was found on the truck, suggesting it had offloaded its load at its destination and was heading back to its company when the accident happened.

Also yesterday, a couple on a motorbike were killed in a hit-and-run with a Mitsubishi Fuso truck in Kampong Chhnang province.

“We believe the driver of the Fuso fell asleep, because he drove into the victims’ lane,” said Loch Vanara, deputy police chief in charge of traffic, adding that the driver had run away after the collision.

Vanara said the truck had been impounded at Samaki Meanchey district police station and the authorities were investigating.

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Cambodia PM declares political 'ceasefire' amid heightened tension

Regarde son visage ressemble l’expression Française dit (mal de chien) His face looks like the French Expression says (ill dog). ~Reader

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (R) arrives to register for next year's local elections, in Kandal province, Cambodia September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

By Prak Chan Thul | PHNOM PENH | Thu Sep 22, 2016

 Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen declared a political “ceasefire” on Thursday following a wave of prosecutions of opposition members that government critics say is politically motivated in the run-up to elections that Hun Sen fears losing.

Tension between the country’s two main political parties has risen in recent months, with the opposition complaining of a crackdown on critics in a bid to intimidate the opposition before a general election in 2018.

In July, Kem Ley, a political commentator and critic of Hun Sen, was murdered, exacerbating fears that political violence was on the rise. Police say he was killed over a debt.

On Monday, Hun Sen said he would “eliminate” opposition supporters if they went ahead with protests but he was conciliatory on Thursday.

“I should not talk much because there is a ceasefire,” Hun Sen said in a speech at a university graduation.

“I want the situation to be quiet, I don’t want any exchanges.”

Hun Sen said rivals should put aside differences for the Pchum Ben religious festival at the end of the month, when Cambodians pay their respects to their dead.

The festival is a solemn occasion in a country where almost every family lost loved ones during the Khmer Rouge “killing fields” rule of the 1970s.

Son Chhay, a senior member of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), welcomed Hun Sen’s declaration.

“This is a good sign,” he told Reuters.

Son Chhay said his party, which has been boycotting parliament since last year, would return to the assembly to promote dialogue.

“We would participate in parliamentary work again,” he said. “We would like to have a solution through talks.”

The boycott was to protest against the treatment of its leaders and a violent assault on two of its legislators.

The CNRP’s top leader is in self-exile to avoid arrest over a case he says was raked up for political reasons, and its acting leader has been holed up in his headquarters to avoid what he says are separate trumped up charges.

The government denies using the judiciary to hound opponents.

In the latest case against the opposition, Ny Chakrya, an election official and former rights activist, was jailed for six months on Thursday for criticizing the judiciary.

Hun Sen’s party faced its toughest election test in 2013 and his critics say he fears losing in 2018.

Hun Sen, who has ruled for three decades, has warned that a CNRP victory in 2018 would see a return to civil war.

(Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Robert Birsel)

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អយ្យការ​សម្រេច​បញ្ជូន​សំណុំ​រឿង​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ប្ដឹង​អ្នកស្រី ថាក់ ឡានី ទៅ​ជំនុំ​ជម្រះ

សមាជិក​ព្រឹទ្ធ​សភា​គណបក្ស សម រង្ស៊ី អ្នកស្រី ថាក់ ឡានី។ Photo supplied

ដោយ សុ ជីវី RFA 2016-09-22

អយ្យការ​អម​សាលា​ដំបូង​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ សម្រេច​បញ្ជូន​សំណុំ​រឿង​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ប្ដឹង​អតីត​សមាជិក​ព្រឹទ្ធសភា​មក​ពី​គណបក្ស សម រង្ស៊ី អ្នកស្រី ថាក់ ឡានី ទៅ​ជំនុំ​ជម្រះ។

ព្រះរាជអាជ្ញា​រង​នៃ​សាលា​ដំបូង​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ លោក លី សុផាណា បាន​ប្រាប់​តាម​បណ្ដាញ​ទំនាក់ទំនង​សង្គម​តេឡេក្រាម (Telegram) នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២២ ខែ​កញ្ញា ថា សំណុំ​រឿង​ដែល​លោក​នាយក​រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុន សែន ប្ដឹង​ឈ្មោះ ថាក់ ឡានី ត្រូវ​បញ្ជូន​ទៅ​សាលា​ដំបូង​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ​តាម​ដីកា​បញ្ជូន​រឿង​ទៅ​ជំនុំ​ជម្រះ​ផ្ទាល់។

ក្នុង​សំណុំ​រឿង​នេះ អ្នកស្រី ថាក់ ឡានី ត្រូវ​បាន​ចោទ​ប្រកាន់​ពី​បទ​បរិហារ​កេរ្តិ៍​ជា​សាធារណៈ និង​បទ​ញុះញង់​ឲ្យ​ប្រព្រឹត្ត​អំពើ​បង្ក​ឲ្យ​មាន​ភាព​វឹកវរ​ធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ​ដល់​សន្តិសុខ​សង្គម ប្រព្រឹត្ត​នៅ​ភូមិ​ប៉ាតាង ឃុំ​ប៉ាតាង ស្រុក​លំផាត់ ខេត្ត​រតនគិរី កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២៩ ខែ​កក្កដា ឆ្នាំ​២០១៦។ ការ​ចោទ​ប្រកាន់​នេះ ដោយ​យោង​តាម​មាត្រា​៣០៥ មាត្រា​៤៩៤ និង​មាត្រា​៤៩៥ នៃ​ក្រម​ព្រហ្មទណ្ឌ។

អ្នកស្រី ថាក់ ឡានី ត្រូវ​បាន​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ប្ដឹង​ទៅ​តុលាការ​ក្រុង​ភ្នំពេញ កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១ សីហា ស្រប​ពេល​ជាមួយ​គ្នា​នឹង​មេ​បក្ស​ប្រឆាំង គឺ​លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ជុំវិញ​ការ​ចោទ​ប្រកាន់​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ថា​ជា​អ្នក​នៅ​ពី​ក្រោយ​ខ្នង​នៃ​ការ​សម្លាប់​លោក​បណ្ឌិត កែម ឡី។ ប៉ុន្តែ​សម្រាប់​អ្នកស្រី ថាក់ ឡានី ធ្លាប់​បាន​ប្រកែក​ថា អ្នកស្រី​មិន​បាន​ចោទ​ប្រកាន់​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ដូច្នោះ​ទេ ដោយ​អ្នកស្រី​បញ្ជាក់​ថា ឃ្លីប​វីដេអូ​ដែល​គេ​បង្ហោះ​ជា​សាធារណៈ​នោះ គឺ​ជា​ការ​កាត់​ត ដើម្បី​ទម្លាក់​កំហុស​លើ​អ្នកស្រី។

បណ្ដឹង​របស់​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ដែល​តំណាង​ដោយ​លោក​មេធាវី គី តិច បាន​ប្ដឹង​ទាមទារ​ឲ្យ​តុលាការ​ផ្ដន្ទាទោស​អ្នកស្រី ថាក់ ឡានី និង​លោក សម រង្ស៊ី តាម​ច្បាប់ និង​ទារ​សំណង​ជំងឺ​ចិត្ត​ក្នុង​ម្នាក់ ១០០​រៀល។

បើ​ទោះ​ជា​យ៉ាង​ណា សាលា​ដំបូង​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ នៅ​មិន​ទាន់​កំណត់​កាលបរិច្ឆេទ​សវនាការ​សំណុំ​រឿង​នេះ​នៅ​ឡើយ៕

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