At a meeting on the launch of the meeting on procedural instructions in Vientiane on Mar 31, 2017
(KPL) The Ministry of Finance launched new procedural instructions on March 31 for the revised value-added tax (VAT) law, which were approved in January 2017.
The meeting was held in Vientiane Capital on March 31 in the presence of the government officials and international organizations.
The revised instructions will make the tax collection procedures more transparent. This is expected to make paying taxes easier for local businesses, and contribute to improving Lao PDR's business climate.
"We are pleased to present the new VAT implementing instructions both within the Government and to the tax payer. They are an important step to improve the tax system of Lao PDR,” said Mr Bounchom Ubonpaseuth, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Finance.
The preparation of the implementing instructions was part of the Public Finance Management Modernization Program, a top priority of the Lao PDR Government aimed to strengthen capacity to manage public finances.
A trust fund financed by the European Union and implemented by the World Bank, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and other government agencies, has been providing technical, analytical and advisory assistance.
Prior to the official launch, 35 tax officials representing all of the provinces and the central government participated in a week-long training by the World Bank on how to roll out the new instructions.
“The EU has a long standing record in supporting Lao PDR in collecting more and spending better, with our budget support programs and direct financial support to domestic public finance reforms,” said Mr Bryan Fornari, Head of Cooperation of the European Delegation to Lao PDR. The revision of the VAT instructions is a part of this support.
VAT is a tax on the purchase of goods and services within the country. The vendor collects VAT from the customer and passes it on to the Government. With the implementation of VAT, Lao PDR joins the 160 countries that are already using VAT and moves in the direction of general tax practices recommended by the World Trade Organization, which Lao PDR began putting into effect in 2013.
“The Word Bank is pleased to support Lao PDR in strengthening their capacity to manage public finances," said Ms Sally Burningham, World Bank Country Manager for Lao PDR. "Collection of taxes allows Lao PDR to provide much-needed resources for social services to the poor.”