Will it be an improvement to pay land tax at banks?

A new method of land tax payment will be introduced next year, whereby people can pay the tax directly into a bank either at the counter, via a mobile phone app, or to bank representatives. This is being done to plug loopholes that previously enabled money to go missing. Vientiane Times asked around for opinions on the proposed new payment method.

 

Ms Chittavanh Chanthachack, a trader in Xaysettha district: It’s good that we will soon be able to pay land tax through a bank. I haven’t paid land tax for the past two years because I’m a trader so I have to leave home early in the morning and come back late every day so I don’t have time to go to pay. I think it will be easier and safer to use a bank as it will ensure that payments don’t go astray. I think the authorities should introduce this system at many banks.

Ms Pany Vang, a resident of Xaythany district: I haven’t heard anything about this yet but I think the new system sounds very interesting and I hope that it works. Like me, I’m sure many people want to see how efficient it is but it hasn’t happened yet so we really don’t know anything about it. Before it goes ahead, officials should make sure everyone is properly informed about the change. The authorities should certainly inform the public in advance. There should be advertisements in the media and notices posted so that it’s fully explained. This is necessary to prevent problems or any unlawful activity.

Ms Khanthavong Sonevilay a resident of Savannakhet province: We should congratulate the authorities on the new system. It sounds like it will be better and more up-to-date than before. But I would like the authorities responsible to consider the practicality of this system. There aren’t any banks in my district so how can we pay land tax? Our district is a rural community and a long way from other districts. Finding a bank will be a problem for people here and in other districts that don’t have banks. The authorities should consider this situation and provide other payment methods for rural people.  If there is no other way, the new system will make things worse instead of better.

Mr Bountang Phommasone, a resident of Xaysettha district: It’s very important to pay annual land tax. Of course, everyone should follow the regulations and pay the tax on time. I think the new system will be good and it should ensure that everyone pays the tax. The authorities should fine people who don’t pay the tax on time. They should force them to comply with the rules and pay as soon as possible. This will help to ensure that all land owners pay tax so that our country benefits. It’s not good that previously only a relatively small percentage of people paid land tax each year. This has caused significant loss of revenue for the government.

Ms Soy Siamphai, a resident of Chanthabouly district, Vientiane: In my opinion it should be better and should result in all the money paid for land tax going to the government or central authorities, who can then use it to improve infrastructure and alleviate poverty. Laos will then have more central funding and the new system will make the payment of land taxes faster, easier, and more trustworthy and transparent. I have some land in Vientiane province and every year we need to go there to pay taxes. It is quite a long way and it wastes a lot of time going out there. If the new system is put into practice it will make life easier for me and everyone else who has to pay taxes.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update November 27, 2018)


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