In the past, the government suffered shortfalls from road tax with annual payments often paid by only 30 percent of vehicle owners.
However, last year’s statistics showed Laos had about 1.8 million vehicles with 843,500 registered in Vientiane alone, excluding those belonging to defence and security units.
An official from the Ministry of Finance’s Taxation Department, who wished to remain unnamed, told Vientiane Times that while the government had established new payment channels through banks the main reason for the revenue increase was stronger enforcement.
He pointed to harsh penalties for non-payment of road tax with vehicle owners facing fines of 10 times the normal rate if police found they had not paid.
“No one wants to pay extra money, so this measure has encouraged more vehicle owners to pay the tax on time,” the official said. The Ministry of Finance issued a notice on February 15, which determined January to March every year as the period for road tax payment.
This means traffic police will begin checking vehicles for payment in April.
Drivers who haven’t paid the road tax will be fined as stipulated in Article 4 of Order No. 3455, issued by the Ministry of Finance on October 10, 2017.
According to this month’s notice from the ministry, vehicles for which road tax was not paid in previous years will be subject to an additional fine of 60 percent the tax rate for 2017. People who failed to pay in 2018 will have to pay an additional fine of 40 percent of the annual tax.
Payments can be made through five bank channels, namely over the counter, BCEL One and BCEL I-Bank online mobile applications, ATMs, BCOME, and the bank’s franchises.
From this year and on, new vehicles purchased in the last three months of any year can skip the road tax payment for that year and start paying the following year.