With the Ministry of Finance issuing 2017 road tax stickers in August, vehicle owners should be prepared to pay a higher road tax this year.
Though an increase has been confirmed, the percentage it will be increased by is still undetermined. The Tax Department is currently in discussion with National Assembly members, who are concerned on what would be appropriate and affordable for certain types of vehicles and whether or not it may be beyond the means of citizens in rural areas.
An official with the Tax Department explained, “the existing road taxes were set in 2008, so it’s now become necessary to increase them.”
In previous years, road tax stickers were available for purchase in March, however the 2017 sticker has been delayed this year while the sector waits for the National Assembly to approve a presidential decree on the increase.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Duangdy, expects the Assembly to approve the decree no later than this month.
Another change that has been implemented this year is the method of obtaining a road tax sticker. In an effort to seal the loopholes of an inefficient system, the ministry will no longer sell road tax stickers at outlets like in previous years.
Instead, banks will be accepting payments and allocating them to specific accounts designated for road tax payments. This ensures that all tax payments are recorded and tracked efficiently, leaving no room for loopholes.
According to statistics from the Tax Department, Laos has about 1.8 million vehicles, but only about 30 percent of vehicle owners pay road tax each year.