For enterprises, tax policies remain a nightmare

By Ha Truong    December 3, 2018 | 08:00 am GMT+7
For enterprises, tax policies remain a nightmare
Tax and customs procedures still cause lots of trouble to businesses.
Companies say they are still struggling to understand tax laws and are getting no assistance from authorities in this regard.

Ho Duc Lai for instance, the director of a garment company in the northern Thai Binh Province, is busy not only with orders at the end of the year for the Lunar New Year but also with preparing tax returns.

"Tax officials once asked for files from seven or eight years ago, and businesses cannot keep hard copies for that long," he said.

In 2016 the Government issued Resolution 35 on supporting enterprise development to 2020, which emphasized the need for streamlining administrative procedures and stopping harassment of businesses.

But at a recent conference on tax, administrative procedures and customs organized by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), businesses had a litany of complaints about the taxman.

Hoang Quang Phong, vice chairman of VCCI, said: "Some tax officials are late in replying to enterprises' questions. And back taxes and penalty for late payment are among the biggest difficulties faced by businesses today."

According to some companies, when there is a difference between their tax data and that of tax authorities, the latter offer no guidance to reconcile it and they end up receiving unpaid tax notices.

Enterprises want the tax department’s IT system improved so that they can easily look up information on paid, unpaid and missing tax amounts and deadlines. 

Nguyen Thi Cuc, chairman of the Vietnam Tax Consulting Association, said many small and medium-sized enterprises coming to tax consultants still ask about certain policies and regulations that have been abolished.

"The General Department of Taxation issues many documents, but why so enterprises still fail to understand the changes? While the tax office is indeed in charge of communicating policies, tax officials cannot contact every enterprise."

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