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Crack down on tax cheats

Update: March, 02/2012 - 10:07

 

Small-volume exports crossing the Ka Long border river in Mong Cai Town, Quang Ninh Province. Cross-border trade is one of the areas with highest tax losses. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoai Nam
HA NOI — The General Department of Taxation has set a priority on battling fraud and other losses in tax collections in cases of cost transfers, cross-border trade, land use, online businesses, tax refunds and value-added taxes.

Speaking at a meeting in the capital city yesterday, Deputy Minister of Finance Hoang Anh Tuan asked staff working in the taxation sector to improve operations to ensure a level playing field for all enterprises.

He asked the sector to conduct further study and make proposals to bring tax policy closer to reality. While he reminded the sector to continue auditing enterprises to ensure compliance with tax regulations, he also urged tax agencies to assist enterprises to improve their performance.

To crack down on tax evasion in the practice of transferring cost, Tuan said the ministry had introduced new audit techniques. However, he admitted that the task remained difficult. In order for tax officials to make a finding that an audited enterprise had committed tax evasion, they needed solid evidence of failure to follow market prices in transferring costs.

According to a report delivered at the meeting, the amount of unpaid due taxes in 2011 rose by by 29.5 per cent over the previous year, while tax settlements pending increased by 7.7 per cent. Provinces with the highest past due taxes include An Giang, Bac Ninh, Binh Phuoc, Cao Bang, Lao Cai, and Tay Ninh.

According to the tax department, tax audits enabled the recovery of back taxes and penalties to the State Treasury totalling VND1.7 trillion ($81.5 million).

Participants at the meeting pinpointed weaknesses in the sector's data on taxpayers as a major hindrance in their work. They asked for software and technology to assist them in their tax audit functions.

In 2012, the General Department of Taxation plans to audit 1,500 enterprises – an increase of 140 per cent over the number of audits conducted in 2011. The audits would focus mainly on cost transfers in enterprises in the banking, real estate, electricity, petroleum, telecommunications and mining sectors.

Audits will also focus on foreign-invested enterprises and acts of cost transfers between parent companies and their subsidiaries and between State-owned enterprises and their affiliates. — VNS

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