Ministry defends tax reforms

Monday, Oct 05, 2015 08:00

A tax official helps tax payers at a one-stop-shop service in Thai Nguyen Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The calculation of time spent on filing taxes and making payments is based on World Bank criteria, with consultancies from Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The finance ministry said this in a statement in response to findings recently published by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), which expressed the opinion of businesses that improvements in tax reforms were not as good as the ministry had reported.

Rise in online tax

The latest statistics of the Ha Noi Department of Taxation show that about 96,000 businesses, or 91.5 per cent of the city's firms, registered to pay taxes online during the past nine months.

This exceeds the goal of 90 per cent set by Resolution 19, the tax department said.

According to the General Department of Taxation, 98 per cent of the businesses in the country used online tax filing procedures and 90 per cent made online tax payments as of the end of September.

Online filing of taxes and payments help to cut the time spent on the procedures by 10 hours per year. — VNS

Specifically, the surveyed businesses felt that the time spent on filing taxes and making payments was cut just by 110 hours or 20 per cent, compared with the ministry's claim that the time had been cut by a hefty 420 hours to the current 117 hours.

The claim triggered doubts that the ministry had not studied the actual application of tax reform measures to calculate the reduction in the time needed for filing taxes and making payments.

In response, the ministry said the General Department of Taxation had joined PricewaterhouseCoopers and the IFC to check, analyse and evaluate the time businesses spent in preparing and paying taxes based on World Bank criteria.

However, it said the process of tax refunds and tax finalisation for business dissolution continued to be slow.

The ministry said the time spent on tax refunds and handling tax-related complaints was not included in calculating the time spent on filing taxes and making payment this year. It will be taken into consideration from next year, following government resolution 19/NQ-CP, dated March 19, on improving the business environment and national competitiveness during the 2015-16 period, which wants the tax reforms to reach the level of ASEAN+4.

This required greater efforts to hasten tax reforms, the ministry said.

The ministry also said achievements in tax reforms were highly appreciated by the business community, citing a report by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry that said more than 70 per cent of the businesses were satisfied with the tax procedure reforms. — VNS

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