Livestream sellers ordered to pay taxes, clear old debts

June 06, 2024 - 06:50
Vietnamese tax authorities are urging individuals earning incomes from e-commerce and social media platforms, especially through livestreaming, to fulfil their tax obligations.
A screenshot showing a seller on livestream. Tax authorities are urging individuals and businesses, especially those selling products on e-commerce platforms, to fulfil their tax obligations. — VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp

HCM CITY—Vietnamese tax authorities are urging individuals earning income from e-commerce and social media platforms, especially livestreaming, to fulfil their tax obligations.

Speaking at a recent Government conference, Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyễn Đức Chi said many YouTubers have already been told to pay substantial amounts in back taxes for their failure to disclose earnings in previous years.

High-income individuals in sectors such as marketing, IT, services, digital commerce, and social media have been found to owe billions of đồng in taxes, he added.

Tax authorities in Hà Nội have identified over 460 individuals with significant earnings from these platforms, with more to be added to the list.

In HCM City, authorities are contacting sellers on Google, Facebook, and YouTube who have not reported income or paid taxes.

Those on the list may also face fines for evading taxes.

McKinsey & Company has forecast livestreaming sales could contribute 20 per cent of e-commerce revenues by 2026.

To enhance tax collection, authorities have proposed amendments to reduce administrative costs for handling tax declarations and payments.

The ministry is working with law enforcement to enhance oversight of e-commerce transactions and revenues.

Individuals owing taxes will be prohibited from leaving the country until their debts are settled.

The authorities will also name and shame them in the media.

The tax debts were worth VNĐ163.866 trillion (US$6.4 billion) as of the end of last year, according to tax authorities.

They recently banned the chairman of Trung Nam Group, a major hydroelectricity and renewable energy producer, from leaving the country due to the company’s tax debts of VNĐ21 billion ($840,000). — VNS