Big companies fined for tax avoidance

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018 07:22

In the spotlight: Tax inspection is actively investigating big companies to detect violations. — Photo

Several listed companies on the two national stock exchanges have been punished for tax-related violations. They have paid penalties of up to several million US dollars due to an alleged lack of understanding of the regulations.

The biggest listed energy company PV Gas (GAS) on January 3 was told it must pay VND106 billion (US$4.7 million) in tax arrears and administrative penalties for late payment.

The Department of Taxation’s decision said the company followed improper procedures resulting in the tax obligations and penalties.

Earlier, DHG Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company (DHG) reported that it had to pay an additional amount of VND30.7 billion to the State budget for understating its income and other tax-related violations.

According to DHG’s filing to the HCM Stock Exchange, the underestimate was a common data error by enterprises across the country and were not intentional, but misunderstandings.

Ha Noi Tax Department has also announced penalty of VND210 million for technology firm CMC Corporation (CMG), a VND2.2 billion penalty for Thang Long Investment Group JSC (TIG) and a VND3.3 billion penalty on steelmaker Son Ha International JSC (SHI).

All three companies on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange were penalised for value-added tax arrears, false declarations and late payment.

Nguyen Van Phung, director of Tax Administration, said enterprises did not have a clear understanding of tax regulations in many different situations and were heavily dependent on tax consultants.

Phung said tax authorities had used many communication channels to publicise new regulations to businesses, thus enterprises blaming ignorance were just making excuses.

“The majority of tax-related violations is intentional,” Phung told, adding that tax inspectors were actively investigating big companies to detect violations and strengthen law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Luong Nhan, managing director of audit company DFK Vietnam, attributed many violations to the negligence of auditing companies.

He said tax was an important part of a financial statement, so if things were not clear, the auditor should always request the business to ask to consult with the tax authority. If violations were detected, the blame could fall on the auditor. – VNS

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