HCMC plans to stop tax dodgers by enforcing card payments in restaurants

By Staff reporters   December 8, 2017 | 12:00 pm GMT+7

The city's tax office is likely to miss its revenue target this year, and is looking at more effective monetary management.

Ho Chi Minh City's Tax Department has suggested that customers should pay for restaurants and other high-end services using bank cards rather than cash to make it easier to collect tax revenue.

Tran Ngoc Tam, the department director, said the proposal could help manage tax payments for high-end services.

His unit is working with other agencies before submitting the plan to the city’s government for approval.

Tam said that cash payments are no longer popular. Vietnam does not allow cash paymentss worth VND20 million ($880) or more, and that threshold is likely to go down to VND5 million soon "when we have the infrastructure to boost electronic payments," he said.

The role of cash in all payments across Vietnam fell from 14 percent in 2010 to 11.5 percent in August 2017, according to figures from the central bank.

HCMC's tax office raised the card payment proposal amid reports that the department is likely to miss its target this year.

The department was set to bring in nearly VND239 trillion ($10.5 billion) in taxes, but has so far only reached 87 percent of the target, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

Legislators in the city, the biggest contributor to the state budget, earlier this week also suggested that celebrities who advertise products on Facebook should be taxed.

Facebook is the most popular social network in Vietnam with more than 52 million active accounts to advertisers, and is also used as a e-commerce platform that tax authorities have struggled to keep track of.