Tax authority probes recover $1.4b

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 10:17

Coal exploration was one of industries investigated and checked by tax authorities. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The tax authorities conducted investigations and checks at more than 70,000 businesses, reducing losses of around VND20 trillion ($889 million) in 2015.

The Ministry of Finance said the investigations focused on industries such as those in petroleum, gas, mineral exploration, and real estate trading, in addition to projects transfer, e-commerce and healthcare equipment, which could be involved in tax evasion and fraud. Beside, the checks also concentrated on enterprises which have enjoyed tax preferential, foreign invested firms in Viet Nam and those with signs of transfer pricing.

The tax authorities especially paid attention to refund of value-added tax for big amounts as well as tax evasion and fraud.

In addition, the tax agencies also investigated organisations and individuals whose transactions seemed suspicious.

The investigations and checks helped the industry recover VND31 trillion ($1.4 billion), thus contributing VND7 trillion to the State budget, the ministry said.

In 2015, the authorities also implemented checks in 1.22 million tax declaration documents, reducing losses of VND274 billion and contributing VND303 billion to the State budget.

It had 2,058 internal check-ups to discover tax violations of VND127 billion.

Evasion and fraud

Tax evasion and fraud in the e-commerce sector has been a headache and a challenge for the tax authorities, Nguyen Quang Tien, Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of Reform and Modernisation, the General Department of Taxation, said.

Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that turnover from online retail last year was estimated at more than $4 billion.

Tien said tax evasion by e-commerce firms has been a big problem for many countries in the world, even developed ones.

The prevention of tax evasion and fraud in Viet Nam has seen results initially, especially after the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Information and Communication and State Bank of Viet Nam issued instructions on the e-commerce transaction floor as well as the payment portal service and domain name management, he added.

However, he said, the fight against tax evasion in e-commerce requires human resources with deep knowledge of tax, accounting, foreign languages and information.

It could be difficult to find such people if we do not have adequate preferential for them as they would be ready to work for foreign companies which have incomes much higher than those available in the tax sector.

This has been a big challenge for the sector in the fight against tax evasion in the e-commerce industry, he noted. He said the training would take time while the legal system for the issue initiates specific regulations. — VNS

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