Lê Xuân Trường. — Photo baohaiquan.vn
Professor Dr Lê Xuân Trường, a senior lecturer of tax in the Accademy of Finance, speaks to the Hải quan (Customs) newspaper on various ways to prevent losses in the State budget
The financial sector has done its best to prevent losses in the course of State budget collection. What are your assessments on the sector’s efforts?
The financial sector has done a good job in the fight against losses in tax collection while revising tax documents to facilitate conditions for production and allow businesses to develop.
Other important tasks that the financial sector has focused their efforts on are the fight against fraudulent trade and transfer pricing.
The task of customs officers is to focus on the fight against fraudulent trade, goods smuggling and transfer pricing.
Positive performance from tax inspection missions and post checks after custom clearance activities have directly contributed to preventing losses to State revenue caused by tax avoidance by enterprises or citizens.
What are the limitations in the course of State budget collection?
Though the financial sector has done its best to achieve high performance when carrying out their missions, there remain a lot of weaknesses and shortcomings due to both subjective and objective reasons.
There remain certain loopholes in our tax collection and management system which has enticed taxpayers to commit tax evasion and fraud.
I also have to admit that in some localities, tax inspection teams have not yet applied a set of technique tools for risk management during their inspection missions. As a consequence, the results of their missions were still limited.
Last but not least, the low morality of certain civil servants working in the financial sector has endorsed the wrongdoings of taxpayers.
To avoid loopholes in State budget collection, the financial sector has adopted some new measures. Will you please elaborate on these measures?
Some international organisations, including the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, have recommended that Việt Nam revise its tax regulations, particularly special consumption taxes on luxury goods or goods which are harmful to the country’s production.
They have also recommended that Việt Nam expand the list of products subjected to paying environmental tax while shortening the list of products subjected to paying value-added tax (VAT).
The Ministry of Finance has included these suggestions in the draft revised law on the State budget, which will be presented to the National Assembly for discussion in the near future.
Do you have any recommendations to avoid losses in the State budget collection?
I have six recommendations as follows:
First, the National Assembly should review and make some changes to all legal tax documents issued by the Ministry of Finance and the National Assembly, as well as the Standing Committee of the National Assembly along the lines of transparency and accountability to better facilitate conditions for production and to prevent tax fraud.
Second, it is to apply the techniques of risk management throughout the course of tax management and customs management.
Third, it is to organise more training courses for tax collectors and customs officers.
Forth, it is to conduct regular in-house inspections in order to detect any wrongdoing as soon as possible.
Fifth, it is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of tax inspection visits before and after customs clearance.
And finally, to further promote mass communication activities to support taxpayers. — VNS