HCMC honors over 1,600 individuals, organizations for good tax payment

The United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women (UN Women) recently published a report entitled “Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights”. Introducing the report, the UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said,”Our world is out of balance. It is both wealthier and more unequal today than at any time since the Second World War. We are recovering from a global economic crisis – but that recovery has been jobless. We have the largest cohort ever of educated women, yet globally women are struggling to find work.” Unemployment rates are at historic highs in many countries, including those in the Middle East and North Africa, in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as in southern Europe. Where women do have jobs, globally they are paid 24% less than men, on average. For the most part, the world’s women are in low-salaried, insecure occupations, like small-scale farming, or as domestic workers – a sector where they comprise 83 per cent of the workforce. Why isn’t the global economy fit for women? In flagship report Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights, UN Women’s investigate what this failure means – and propose solutions. Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka affirmed, “We take a fresh, holistic look at both economic and social policies and their implications for the entire economy. We look particularly at the ‘invisible’ economy of unpaid care and domestic work that anchors all economies and societies. Conventional measures like GDP have…... [read more]

Philip Morris Vietnam S.A recently filed a lawsuit to Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court, petitioning the court to overrule a decision issued five years ago by Ho Chi Minh Department of Taxation. Under the decision, Philip Morris Vietnam S.A, a branch of Philip Morris International Inc., must pay a VND103 billion (US$4.76 million) tax debt, of which VND41.54 billion (US$1.9 million) covers penalty charges for late tax payment. Back in 2010, soon after Philip Morris Vietnam S.A informed the taxation department of its closure due to the expiry of its business license, the department announced the firm’s debt obligation. As part of enforcement efforts to collect the sum, the department froze Philip Morris Vietnam S.A’s bank account and deducted more than VND10 billion (US$458,715) from the account. The sum, which the department considered as “taxable income”, originated from the mother company’s deletion of the interest on a loan previously given to Philip Morris Vietnam S.A. Since Philip Morris Vietnam S.A had already declared the interest as an expense in previous fiscal years, it reversed the sum by listing it in its dissolution report as “other revenue” in 2010. In letters sent to the department, the firm argued that “the sum” was not taxable as it belonged to the mother company, according to Cao Van Ty, head of the department’s legal division. Philip Morris Vietnam S.A cited Vietnam’s Commercial Law 2005, which states that branches are dependent units of the foreign trader, and as such the mother company should be…... [read more]

Most NA deputies said that it is difficult to put the law into effect as the foundation for its feasibility has not yet been perfected and house owners should not been subject to tax payments. They agreed with the NA Committee for Finance and Budget Affairs that a house is property closely attached to people’s long-term efforts to accumulate wealth so, people must to fulfill tax obligations including paying personal income tax before saving money to build a house. A house is a sensitive issue that has a direct impact on everyone and controlling house area and evaluating value are complex issues. In the context of current economic difficulties, imposing an additional tax will cause problems for people. NA deputies said that a tax should be imposed on land owners, not house owners, and the issue should be considered further to ensure its feasibility before its implementation.... [read more]

As Vietnam’s tourism is strongly developing, with a rise in tax revenue. However, are foreign online hotel booking services subject to tax in Vietnam? Fred Burke and Nguyen Thanh Vinh from law firm Baker & McKenzie delves into this issue. There has been a lot of controversy lately about cross-border digital commerce, specifically how and where it should be taxed. New technologies have made it possible for business transactions to go beyond traditional limitations. The digital economy plays a more and more significant role around the world, and Vietnam is not an exception and the country will continue to benefit from these new developments in many ways. One question that has come up in almost every country is the real or perceived loss of tax revenue from e-commerce companies. Both tax authorities and business players in this sector face a real challenge: how to create a business environment and tax mechanism that balance economic growth and tax revenue. This is an emerging area of international tax law. It is not simple, and before law makers leap to simple but risky conclusions, they should proceed carefully to make sure not to damage one of the country's key economic drivers – tourism – by cutting off the web-based services that bring tourists to the country. Tourism is hugely important to Vietnam’s economy. Directly and indirectly, the industry contributes 13.9 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP according to World Travel and Tourism Council. In 2015, the sector contributed $8.5 billion in export value. The…... [read more]

Ho Chi Minh City Party and People Committees' leaders urged the Transport Department and relevant districts to speed up traffic projects to reduce traffic jam in the eastern area of the city on January 5. Trucks in Nguyen Thi Dinh street near My Thuy roundabout, District 2, HCMC (Photo: SGGP) They were speaking at a meeting between city party chief Dinh La Thang and the People’s Committee, Transport Department, districts and Sai Gon Newport Company, discussing traffic safety and order in the area.According to director of the Transport Department Bui Xuan Cuong, despite many efforts to reduce traffic jam, the situation has regularly and long occurred in streets near Cat Lai seaport such as Hanoi Highway, Mai Chi Tho, Dong Van Cong, Nguyen Thi Dinh and Vo Chi Cong. My Thuy roundabout where trucks have to travel through to reach Cat Lai seaport has been badly congested during peak hours.The efforts which the Department of Transport has implemented include increase of human resource to regulate traffic in the streets and the seaport and hasten procedures of getting in and out the port and strictly handle parking violations.The agency proposed the city People’s Committee to approve urgent implementation of roads directly leading to Cat Lai port, choose and appoint investors from the start of PPP (public private partnership) projects with huge capital and permit investors to deduct land use fee for land pieces where they have not fulfilled tax obligations.Sai Gon Newport Company suggested speeding up the progress of roads linking…... [read more]

Strengthening Private Sector’s Roles Vietnam Business Forum 2016 (VBF 2016) was held in Hanoi on December 5, 2016 with the theme of “Strengthening the private sector - Fostering partnership between domestic and foreign enterprises for a harmonious development of the Vietnamese economy”. VBF2016 discussed how to strengthen the partnership between the domestic private sector with foreign investors in all fields and industries so as to enhance competitiveness and penetrability of small and medium sized enterprises into global supply and production chains and foster supporting industries through legislation, finance, accounting and tax policy. Besides, the forum delved into such topics as human resources and training demands, infrastructure improvement, public-private partnership (PPP) and build-operate-transfer (BOT), capital market, private investment attraction towards green and sustainable development, domestic and foreign investment in bio-energy and renewable energy, mitigation of climate change impacts, and regulations on environmental protection. Speaking at the forum, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the reality of the 30-year renovation (doi moi) process has proved convincingly that the private economic sector is an important driving force of the Vietnamese economy and lift Vietnam’s position in global economic value chains. Vietnam now has 600,000 registered firms with many private companies performing well both in Vietnam and in the world such as Vietnam Airlines, FPT, Vinamilk, TH True Milk, Bitis, Viet Jet Air and Saigon Tourist. 2016 is the first year when Vietnam has more than 100,000 new businesses established. Besides, more than 3.5 million business households in the country hold great potential…... [read more]

Vietnamese taxpayers want to enjoy more lenient rules when they become ill, as the current regulations will give little or no relief for their financial burden. Vietnamese taxpayers want to enjoy more lenient rules when they become ill, as the current regulations will give little or no relief for their financial burden. Local payers of the personal income tax lament that they will still have to fulfill tax obligations, or are only eligible for a modest exemption or reduction even when they catch serious or fatal diseases. In the meantime, the current procedure for sick taxpayers to apply for such a reduction or exemption is so complicated that few are able to follow through all the paperwork to get their benefits. Rigid rules Vietnam currently applies progressive personal income tax, with the taxpaying threshold set at VND5 million (US$223) and the tax rates ranging from five percent to 30 percent. The taxable income is calculated by deducting VND9 million ($402) from an individual’s total income, and another VND3.6 million ($161) for each of their dependents. For instance, a man who earns VND20 million ($893) a month with an under-18-year-old child has a taxable income of VND7.4 million ($330). Also under the current tax law, if that person has one in a list of 42 serious diseases – cancer, heart attack, stroke, coma, kidney failure, brain injury and blindness – or has paralyzed/amputated legs/arms, he/she can apply for a tax reduction or exemption. The tax relief, however, is not allowed to…... [read more]

Uber has agreed to pay taxes for its operations in Vietnam, but local tax officials say the ride-hailing service has yet to fulfill its full responsibilities. Uber has agreed to pay taxes for its operations in Vietnam, but local tax officials say the ride-hailing service has yet to fulfill its full responsibilities. The Netherlands-based Uber B.V authorized its Vietnamese unit to pay VND13.3 billion (US$593,750) in taxes, while the company should have paid nearly VND19 billion ($848,214), according to the Ho Chi Minh City’s tax department. According to the General Department of Taxation, Uber Vietnam should fulfill the tax obligations on behalf of its Dutch parent firm. For every ride offered, Uber takes 20 percent of the fare and the remainder goes into the driver’s pocket. As requested by the General Department of Taxation, Uber Vietnam must pay a 3 percent value-added tax, plus a 2 percent corporate income tax on the 20 percent share it receives. In the meantime, Uber drivers must also pay a 3 percent value-added tax and 1.5 percent personal income tax on their 80 percent share, though Uber Vietnam is required to deduct and pay these taxes on behalf of its drivers. Under this regulation, the total tax owed by Uber Vietnam through June 2016 is approximately VND19 billion, according to the Ho Chi Minh City tax department. Despite detailed payment guidelines from the taxation general department, Uber Vietnam has only agreed to pay taxes for its earnings, and repeatedly refused to do so for…... [read more]

City to tighten fiscal discipline Van Nam HCMC - HCMC will tighten fiscal spending given revenue constraints as a result of tariff cuts and a lower level of retained budget revenue. With the percentage of budget revenue the city may retain slashed from 23% to 18%, a series of solutions for revenue management will be carried out next year, said HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong at the opening session of the municipal People’s Council on December 6. Specifically, the city will tighten fiscal discipline, settle problems related to taxation to help businesses boost their activities and fulfill their tax obligations, said Phong at the third meeting of the council on December 6. Notably, capital allocation will be based on how to balance the budget. Funding will be prioritized for projects within the seven breakthrough programs. HCMC will offer incentives to lure investors from all economic sectors into infrastructure development, with a focus on public-private partnerships. As per the plan for public investment in HCMC next year, the central budget will provide nearly VND7.2 trillion, while the city will supply itself more than VND25.1 trillion. The total budget revenue of the city next year is estimated at over VND347.8 trillion, an increase of nearly 16% from 2016, whereas the total budget spending is put at some VND70.64 trillion. A HCMC People’s Council deputy suggested the city focus on fueling production as a long-term solution for sustaining revenues. Thus, the municipal government should early specify the incentives for each type of production…... [read more]

PARIS: Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho could have been involved in a multimillion-euro system of "tax evasion", according to leaked documents obtained by a number of media outlets. Leaked documents obtained by German weekly Der Spiegel claim that Real Madrid and Portuguese star Ronaldo could have "hidden €150 million in tax havens in Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands". (Photo: AFP/Javier Soriano/Oli Scarff) A group of 12 European newspapers said it intends to disclose over the next three weeks the results of investigations into widespread alleged corruption at the heart of football under the banner "Football Leaks". Both Ronaldo and Mourinho say that they have fully complied with British and Spanish fiscal requirements. Based on leaked documents obtained by German weekly Der Spiegel, the outlets claim that Real Madrid and Portuguese star Ronaldo could have "hidden €150 million in tax havens in Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands". "On this amount, the striker paid only €5.6 million in taxes, or barely four per cent," added the report. Ronaldo, it is claimed, benefits from "a system developed by his agent Jorge Mendes". They cite two operations related to advertising revenue of the Portuguese star. The first, between 2009 and 2014, could represent "€74.8 million via an offshore company called Tollin, registered in the British Virgin Islands", said the report released Friday. "He would have eventually declared a part of it," added the report sent to AFP by the Mediapart organisation. "The lawyers of the player told the (media) consortium that a…... [read more]

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