In an attempt to collect additional taxes before the end of the year, the Deputy Minister of Finance has announced that finance authorities are planning to audit more than 200 major companies that have been under the management mandate of central-level state bodies and Vientiane authorities.
The deputy minister, Dr Atsaphangthong Siphandone, informed members of the National Assembly (NA) at a meeting in Vientiane, that the inspections are being facilitated by six teams of finance authorities that began auditing enterprises the beginning of September and are still underway.
The objective of these audits is to ensure that companies have paid the correct amount of taxes based on their actual income, and have strictly complied with financial regulations.
The controversy is that many businesses pay taxes based on reports amassed by their own staff, which are then assessed by tax officials. NA members have previously expressed concerns that this practice had lead to loopholes for revenue leaks, as businesses are unlikely to report their true income so they can minimize the tax levied.
The maneuver is among measures initiated by the government in an effort to boost revenue collection over the last six months of this year.
The inspections are also intended to maximize revenue collection, as the government has struggled to collect revenue in line with the target for 2017.
Dr Atsaphangthong has projected that revenue collection for 2017 was expected to reach 23,489 billion kip, accounting for 98.1 percent of the amount targeted.
During the first six months of 2017, over 10,365 billion kip was collected, accounting for just 43.29 percent of the year’s plan. Measures are being implemented to collect the remaining 13,124 billion kip before the end of the year.
In addition to the inspection of the 200 businesses, Dr Atsaphangthong emphasized that authorities will place great importance on properly collecting taxes and tariffs from major sources or products such as petrol, vehicles, construction materials and electrical equipment, as well as consumer and durable goods.
Attention would also be focused on collecting taxes and fees from small and medium enterprises as well as hydropower and mining projects.
Officials would intensify efforts to collect revenue sourced from leasing fees of state assets as well as concession fees.