Uber Vietnam agrees to shell out $2.94 million in tax arrears, penalties

By Thanh Le   December 7, 2017 | 06:33 pm GMT+7
Uber Vietnam agrees to shell out $2.94 million in tax arrears, penalties
An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign September 15, 2014. Photo by Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

The ride-hailing firm has been accused of swerving taxes since it arrived in Vietnam in 2014. 

Popular ride-hailing service Uber has agreed to pay VND67 billion ($2.94 million) in back-taxes and penalties, despite disputing a bill it was slapped with by Ho Chi Minh City's tax department in September, a department leader told VnExpress on Thursday.

The total includes a VND10.3 billion ($452 million) fine for false tax declarations, VND51.48 billion in tax arrears (calculated from mid-2014 to June 2017), and a VND4.9 billion charge for late filing.

Uber International Services Holding B.V., though based in the Netherlands, generates income in Vietnam, so needs to pay taxes on behalf of its Vietnamese drivers, the Ministry of Finance explained in a statement.

Uber arrived in Vietnam in mid-2014 but had only paid VND241 million ($10,667) in taxes to the government as of September this year, despite being repeatedly accused of tax evasion. 

In earlier interviews with VnExpress, Damian Kassabgi, Uber's director of public policy in Asia-Pacific, attributed the late tax payment to outdated regulations, claiming many tax departments had not been able to keep up with its new technology and business model, though the company had tried to abide by the tax laws of every country in which it operates. 

HCMC's tax department said they will follow up with the Ministry of Finance's statement and urge the company to fulfill its tax obligation.