Country Listing

Cambodia Table of Contents



The government approved the country's first tax laws in November 1982 and implemented them in 1983. There were three categories of taxes-- business, import, and agricultural. In theory, the tax laws stipulated that all private economic enterprises should pay taxes, while tax schedules varied according to income, goods imported, and agricultural productivity. The Ministry of Finance was responsible for tax assessments and for collections on a national level. At subordinate government echelons, provincial and district committees were charged with this duty.

In practice, the government faced many difficulties in collecting taxes. Eventually, it revised assessments to make taxation acceptable to the business community and to the peasantry. For example, the agricultural tax (also called the "patriotic contribution"), introduced during the 1983 to 1984 harvest season, reportedly was suspended in 1985, but was reimposed a year later. Agricultural tax assessments were based on yields and plots, such as lowland paddy, river banks, garden, hillside fields, plantation crop, or highland cropland. The government, however, granted new concessions to some agricultural cooperatives, which previously had been taxed heavily on high-yielding rice harvests, without regard to the high costs of production and the high risks in testing new varieties of rice. Cultivators who grew rice in both the rainy and the dry seasons were subject to tax assessments on each crop. Partial and full tax exemptions were granted to peasants who brought vacant land into production, to families of soldiers, to the war handicapped, and to victims of natural calamities.

Data as of December 1987