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New circular looks to tax online transactions

Update: January, 22/2015 - 09:40
The front page of enbac.com, one of the largest e-commerce websites in Viet Nam. E-commerce or social network sellers are required to register their transactions according to a new circular issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade that took effect on January 20.
HA NOI  (VNS) — It has become mandatory since January 20 for e-commerce or social network sellers to register their transactions in order to facilitate tax collection.

The move is a result of a circular issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), which regulates the management of e-commerce websites.

Under the circular, e-commerce or social network owners must register with MOIT if the website users want to display and trade goods or services, or if a website has a trading section, which enables users to post information on the purchase of goods or services.

The online sellers are also required to provide personal information and information on goods or services and comply with tax duties as regulated.

Lai Viet Anh, Deputy Head of MOIT's e-commerce and information technology agency, was quoted by the Tuoi Tre (Youth) online newspaper as saying that the move is aimed at creating a healthy competitive e-commerce environment, helping protect consumers and improving the state's management efficiency.

She added that online shopping in Viet Nam is flourishing, citing a report that says 45 per cent of internet users in 2013 made purchases online, and the number is expected to increase rapidly.

The circular also states that e-commerce trading floor owners and online sellers must be responsible for their quality of goods and services.

Cloth seller Tran Thi Thanh Hue, who has been selling her goods online for two years at a famous Viet Nam portal for parents called lamchame.com.vn, told Viet Nam News that she had heard about such a circular being issued for months. "However, so far I have not received any information from the website administrator on tax collection imposed on online sales," she stated.

She added that even if the circular has become effective, it will be difficult for authorities to manage the quality of goods and services, adding that millions of people, including Facebook users, sell goods online using anonymous accounts, making it very hard to regulate their activities.

The circular does not apply to websites in the finance, banking, credit and insurance sectors or websites that purchase and trade in money, gold, foreign currency and other means of payment or websites that provide online games or gambling services. — VNS

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