Cambodia: Determination of 2021 Market Interest Rate for Employee Loans 

February, 2022 - Segolene Leffy

On 10 February 2022, the General Department of Taxation (“GDT”) issued Notification 2845 (“Notification 2845”), which provides the 2021 market interest rates for Employee Loans in accordance with Article 15 of Prakas 543 on Tax on Salary and Instruction No. 7015 GDT dated 13 March 2020.

The 2021 market interest rates for 2021, based on the average of ten (10) commercial Cambodian banks, are as follows:

  • USD – 8.28% per annum
  • Khmer Riel – 8.87% per annum


The GDT makes it clear in Notification 2845 that the 2021 market interest rates are only to be used to determine the tax base for the application of fringe benefit tax on loans that are provided by an Employer to an Employee.

When an Employer in Cambodia provides a loan to Employee with an interest rate that is lower than the market rate the difference between the two will be considered a fringe benefit that has been provided to the Employee requiring the Employer to withhold and deduct Tax on Fringe Benefit at the flat rate of 20% on the difference.

Instruction No. 7015 issued by the GDT in early 2020 provides two options for an Employer to determine the market interest rate for loans that they have provided by to an Employee;

  1. The minimum interest rate charged by the Employer on loans to third parties or to debtors;
  2. The market interest rate issued by the GDT from the previous tax year
    i.e. year N-1 with N being the current tax year.

To the extent that the market interest rate, as determined above, is higher than the actual interest rate used for an Employee loan the 20% Tax on Fringe Benefit will apply on the difference.

It should be noted that the annual market interest rates issued by the GDT should not be used as a safe harbor for transfer pricing purposes or as a cap to determine interest expense deductibility for Tax on Income purposes. 

The DFDL tax team is always ready to answer any questions you may have on this and other tax issues.


Tax services required to be undertaken by a licensed tax agent in Cambodia are provided by Mekong Tax Services Co., Ltd, a member of DFDL and licensed as a Cambodian tax agent under license number – TA201701018.

The information provided here is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.



Clint O’Connell

Partner, Cambodia Deputy Managing Director & Head of Cambodia Tax Practice

[email protected]


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