Tax agency launches probes into e-commerce platforms

Tuesday, Aug 22, 2023 10:33

An e-commerce platform dedicated to Vietnamese high-quality products. The disparencies in the tax declarations submitted by e-commerce platforms have raised concern about their adherence to tax regulations. — VNA/VNS Photo Mỹ Phương

The General Department of Taxation (GDT) has announced probes into e-commerce platforms after their tax declarations were found not to add up.

Via the national tax portal, 58 foreign and 334 domestic platforms have handed in their tax reports by mid-July. However, the taxman has found some inconsistencies in what has been filed. 

For instance, vendors on the platforms were reported to decrease in number by between 30 and 60 per cent in Q1/2023, yet the number of transactions on the platforms increased by an unusual 17.8 per cent. 

What is more questionable is that their average transaction value was reported to fall by nearly 99.6 per cent.  

Information disclosure was another factor fuelling the tax agency's suspicion.

Sixteen platforms disclosed insufficient information about their vendors in Q1, whereas 162 said they had no information about their number of transactions.

Worse still, 115 platforms failed to provide the tax codes of their vendors to the tax agency, posing more difficulties for tax collection.

The tax agency is urging its municipal subordinates to take measures to ensure e-commerce platforms make full disclosure of tax information related to their vendors and their transactions.  

The taxman is also urging its subordinates to look into their tax reports and hold them accountable for the discrepancies in question.

"Taxpayers refusing to play the ball will be put on a blacklist and get penalties in accordance with the tax law," said a GDT representative. 

E-commerce platforms are obliged to disclose their tax information to the tax authority via the national tax portal, which came into operation on December 15, 2022. 

By mid-July, foreign platforms have paid VNĐ3.4 trillion (US$142 million) of tax to the State budget via the portal. — VNS

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