A third of firms bribe tax authorities: study

By Anh Minh    December 17, 2019 | 08:31 pm PT
A third of firms bribe tax authorities: study
Employees work at an office in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/Jimmy Tran.
30 percent of Vietnamese firms bribed tax officials last year for the latter to overlook possible violations and mitigate fines, a study has found.

A study report released Tuesday by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) also says that 7.1 percent of businesses said they paid more than 10 percent of their annual revenue as "unofficial fees" last year.

The majority of respondents, 61.6 percent, said that they got what they wanted after paying the unofficial fees.

The study also found that bribery was not uncommon in the banking sector. With most businesses having trouble accessing credit, 40 percent of respondents said they had to bribe bank officials to get loans.

Dau Anh Tuan, director of VCCI’s Legal Department, said that although government agencies have committed to cut down their administrative procedures by half, an estimated 350,000 business still have trouble acquiring the permits they need.

Almost six out of ten businesses said they still faced red tapism, a ratio which has barely changed since 2016.

57.5 percent of businesses said they did not have to go back and forth between government agencies to complete their administrative procedures, down 5.8 percent from 2016.

70 percent of business respondents said they are at a disadvantage compared to those that are well connected with local governments, a figure which that has not improved much since VCCI first began the annual study in 2015.

Meanwhile, the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business 2020 report released in October showed that Vietnam’s ranking fell one place from last year to 70th among 190 economies. In Southeast Asia, the country was ranked fifth after Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei.

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