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Tax talks highlight policy deficiencies

Update: October, 31/2014 - 08:40
Customs officers check goods at My Thoi Port, An Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung

HA NOI (VNS) — Difficulties in tax and customs policies topped the agenda of the dialogue that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) conducted with enterprises yesterday.

The annual event, which aims to provide the business community with latest information on tax and customs issues, drew the participation of a large number of companies and was considered the most frank and open meeting between State officials and enterprises concerning solutions to problems and difficulties facing enterprises.

This was the opportunity for enterprises to have a direct dialogue with the leaders of the MoF, as well as customs and taxation administrators.

At the dialogue, Doan Duy Khuong, VCCI deputy chairman, said the Government was actively promoting economic restructuring and growth to speed up the country's socio-economic development and international integration.

Khuong added that Viet Nam was developing its market economy and delving deeper into international integration.

Besides implementating World Trade Organisation commitments and free trade agreements, Viet Nam is currently negotiating for trade agreements with leading economic giants such as the United States and European Union, as well as Canada, Russia, China and South Korea.

Also, with the establishment of the ASEAN economic community next year, Viet Nam will become a bridge linking Asean economies with regional and the global markets.

Deputy Finance Minister Do Hoang Anh Tuan said the dialogue was one of the annual MoF activities that aimed to help businesses overcome difficulties in tax and customs declarations, as well as assist the MoF in collecting petitions from businesses to effectively reform administrative procedures in the field of taxes and customs.

Tuan told participants that although the economic growth rate increased by 5.8 per cent year-on-year, an estimated 57,000 businesses were either dissolved or suspended operations because of difficulties in business performance. Only 29 per cent of businesses are profitable, he added.

Tuan said the number of exporters remained unchanged, and the foreign direct investment sector remained the largest contributor to export turnover at 66 per cent.

Viet Nam's ongoing trade negotiations are expected to bring advantages as well as challenges, he added, and urged participants to discuss good policies as well as difficulties with current mechanisms and make recommendations that would assist businesses in overcoming challenges.

Cao Anh Tuan, deputy director of the General Department of Taxation (GDT), provided updates on tax policy, tax administration and measures to ease difficulties of corporate and individual taxpayers.

To help taxpayers overcome difficulties, the MoF, GDT and Government have issued circulars, decrees and dispatches. In addition, the MoF has submitted to the Government and the National Assembly a draft law on Special Consumption Tax and supplemented five laws on VAT, as well as corporate income tax, personal income tax, resource tax and tax administration.

The amendments are also related to the limit on expenses for advertising, marketing, trade, promotion and reception, and are expected to cut about 80 hours of administrative tax and customs procedures.

Regarding tax reform implementation, an estimated 416,689 enterprises, accounting for 85.5 per cent of the total number, have so far filed electronic tax declarations, and it is expected that by the end of this year, about 95 per cent of businesses will file electronic tax declarations.

The GDT has worked with Vietcombank and Agribank, as well as BIDV, MB and Vietinbank, to carry out e-tax payment. This model has been carried out in 18 provinces and is expected to be implemented in the remaining provinces soon.

Vu Ngoc Anh, GDT deputy general director, provided updates on the new contents of the Customs Law which the National Assembly passed last June and which will take effect in January.

Specific examples

Pham Thi Loan, chief executive officer of Viet A Group, said customs authorities needed to review their performance after post-clearance inspection to generate incentives for businesses.

Loan revealed that her company imported optical cable for the domestic electronics and telecommunications industry with identification numbers at zero per cent. However, customs authorities applied a three-per cent tax on her company.

She noted that the post-clearance inspection aimed to avoid trade fraud by companies, but authorities' performance has made it more difficult for businesses.

Loan also submitted her petition calling on agencies to effectively improve procedures for handling complaints from businesses and thoroughly review the tariff list to avoid saddling businesses with concerns and losses.

Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy general secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said about 90 per cent of businesses always encountered problems in post-clearance inspection and alarming systems of overdue tax on the electronic payment system.

Nam added that businesses now expected the implementation and coordination of customs and tax authorities to be consistent to make it easier for all concerned. — VNS

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