|Customs officials at HCM City's Tan Son Nhat Airport check imported products. Nearly VND160 trillion was collected in taxes and duties in the first nine months of this year, according to the General Department of Customs. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI (VNS) — The General Department of Customs collected nearly VND160 trillion (US$7.27 billion) in taxes and duties in the first nine months of this year, up 13.8 per cent year-on-year.
However, the figure met only 67.6 per cent of the annual target.
Value added tax (VAT) accounted for VND55.8 trillion ($2.53 billion) or 34.87 per cent, while collections from imports and exports, special consumption and environment protection duties were VND104 trillion ($4.72 billion). Another VND200 billion ($9.09 million) came from other taxes.
The customs department aimed to collect VND237.5 trillion ($10.79 billion) this year, a year-on-year increase of 20 per cent.
In efforts to minimise tax fraud, this week the customs department required its province-level agencies to scrutinise VAT refunds for products exported across the border.
The move was a response to last year's discovery that a number of exporters with VAT tax refunds had a suspiciously sharp rise in both the volume and value of export goods.
Most export products eligible for VAT refunds are for the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors; the category also includes construction materials and mobile phones.
The customs department attributed the tax fraud increase to loose regulations on setting up and dissolving firms as well as allowing firms to print red invoices on their own.
Loopholes in regulations allowing foreigners to open currency accounts to pay export and import duties in Vietnamese dong are also frequently exploited.
Last year, the department generated $9.48 billion in taxes, a drop of 8.8 per cent from 2011 that met 88.4 per cent of the annual plan. — VNS