A local business in HCM City attempted and succeeded in overturning a decision made by a district tax office. According to the business’ owner, he was wrongly taxed $15,000 in VAT and made to pay a fine of more than $2,000 for failing to declare income from his sales of rice husks.
While a lesser business owner may have agreed to pay or tried to reach a settlement with the tax officers, he decided to bring it to the court. Unfazed by the district’s court initial verdict, which ruled in favour of the tax office, he appealed and won.
The court said rice husks, while able to be used as a building material, fertilizer and insulation material, are considered a waste product and therefore should be exempt from VAT.
It isn’t a common occurrence in Việt Nam for a business to protest a decision made by the tax office, let alone fighting them in a courtroom and winning. As business owners wise up, tax officers may want to go over our tax law to make sure they won’t drop the ball again in such an embarrassing manner. — VNS