Firms pleased with tax administration reforms

More than 70 per cent of businesses expressed their satisfaction with the reforms in tax administration in 2014, said Dau Anh Tuan, head of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)'s Legal Department.

FDI companies also faced trouble in tax refund as 37 per cent of the surveyed firms cited prolonged time taken as a difficulty while claiming tax refund. — baohaiquan

Tuan revealed the findings in a report on companies' satisfaction about administrative reforms in tax issues in 2014 at an event held in Ha Noi yesterday.

Specifically, 58 per cent of businesses said information on tax administration had been made simple and easy to understand. Around 90 per cent who received tax delegations for check-ups agreed that the check-ups were in line with regulations that had been issued while 80 per cent said the behaviour of tax officers was proper.

The General Department of Taxation said the sector would basically change tax collection for household businesses to make it more simple, effective and transparent.

Accordingly, management boards of markets, commercial centres, telecommunication and electricity units would collect the tax.

The tax sector would publish turnover and tax level for household businesses in streets to help tax payers supervise the collection.

Ta Thi Phuong Lan, deputy head of the department, said household businesses could pay taxes through ATMs instead of going through tax agencies.

"A majority of businesses were pleased with the impact of changes in tax law in the past five years with 92 per cent saying the changes were positive," he added.

Reforms in value-added tax and corporate tax received the highest number of positive comments. Around 80 per cent of the businesses believed that administrative procedures on taxes were available, easy to find and unified.

Nearly 90 per cent of the businesses said the procedure for VAT refund has been made easy. However, 26 per cent of the firms had not implemented the tax refund policies as they were afraid of the complicated procedures.

The survey conducted by VCCI and General Department of Taxation covering more than 2,500 enterprises nationwide has been conducted for the first time in the taxation sector. The surveyed firms included those officially registered for operation which contributed 61 per cent to the country's total collection.

VCCI formulated five criteria to measure businesses' satisfaction regarding the reforms, including access to information, implementation of tax procedures, tax check-ups, tax officers' behaviour and tax case resolution.

The General Department of Taxation data also revealed that the tax payment time was reduced by 420 hours, thanks to the removal of several hundreds of procedures and regulations when declaring or paying taxes.

However, the sector has seen complaints from businesses despite the encouraging results, the report said.

It said seven out of 10 firms had difficulties in accessing information on tax policies and laws.

In addition, nearly half of the surveyed companies said they were facing trouble in implementing tax administration. Tax registration and declaration caused many hassles.

Around 30 per cent of businesses have to pay unofficial fees to tax officers while implementing administrative taxation procedures. Nearly 40 per cent said they would face discrimination if they did not pay up unofficial fees for tax officers. Especially, 41 per cent of FDI firms had to give some money to tax officers.

"The tax industry has seen achievements in their reforms though a lot of work remains," he added.

FDI companies also faced trouble in tax refund as 37 per cent of the surveyed firms cited prolonged time taken as a difficulty while claiming tax refund.

Several big enterprises complained that they had to receive more tax delegations than smaller ones.

Sharing the ideas, deputy minister of finance said this had been the traditional thinking of tax officers as they thought that big firms must have committed many violations.

However, Tuan said the tax sector had improved in this regard. It required building a data system of more than 500,000 companies in the country. The industry would clarify risk areas and point out businesses which could violate laws and regulations in the tax area.

The General Department of Taxation would focus on technology based solutions to ensure all businesses implement e-tax declaration. It has studied implementation of e-tax payment for registration fees, property transfer and house leasing.

It has also promoted information and technology application in receiving tax refund, reaching 95 per cent of the total refund by September 30th, 2016.

Vu Tien Loc, the VCCI's chairman, said the survey was carried out fairly without bias to the tax sector.

"The survey showed that the reforms in the tax sector have been in the right direction, have accelerated and are gaining initial successes," he said.


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