Taxpayers embrace online refund option

The online tax refund pilot project launched by General Department of Taxation early this year has been well received by taxpayers.

A tax worker gives guidance to a resident about submitting taxes online at the Thanh Xuân District Tax Department in Hà Nội. The online service is expected to help create a healthier and more favourable business climate. – VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hùng

The online tax refund service was first introduced in the taxation departments of Hà Nội and HCM City in January this year for tax payers involved in export and investment projects that are eligible for value added tax refunds.

In April this year, the online tax refund service expanded to an additional 11 cities and provinces with a large number of tax refund businesses and exporters, including Hải Phòng, Đồng Nai, Đà Nẵng, Cần Thơ, Quảng Ninh and Khánh Hòa.

According to the Information Technology Division under the General Department of Taxation, by the end of July, almost 2,900 businesses registered to join the pilot project and about 44 per cent of them made online tax applications.

Tax agencies received more than 2,600 online tax refund applications and nearly VNĐ5.5 trillion (US$244 million) was reimbursed.

The rate of online tax refund dossiers increased gradually. In April, just 9.9 per cent of tax refund dossiers were done online. This increased to 15.5 per cent in May, 28.8 per cent in June and 44.12 per cent in July.

Lê Thị Duyên, head of the Tax Declaration and Accounting Division, said businesses applauded the online service because of its time saving and ease. When taxpayers sent refund applications to tax agencies, they can track them at any time, getting confirmation about time of receipt, outcomes and mistakes.

However, some businesses that registered to join the refund project did not go ahead because they were awaiting responses from other enterprises, Duyên said.

The implementation of online tax refunds also faced technical problems in receiving applications. “The tax agencies have been improving their technical infrastructure and assisting tax payers to handle arisen problems,” she said.

Last month, taxation departments nationwide were asked to make a list of taxpayers eligible to apply for online tax refunds and offer them training/ assistance.

In the next few months, the online tax refund is expected to be applied to value added tax refunds, diplomatic immunity, tax refunds for tourists, dissolution or bankruptcy, and overpayment of personal income tax, she said.

Viên Viết Hùng, deputy director of Hà Nội Taxation Department, said that since early this year, 102 enterprises operating in export or investment projects had their tax reimbursed online.

Hùng said that tax officers and taxpayers kept contacts via e-mails or phones in which tax officers also provided tax payers with instructions so that they could use the service properly.

“Online service also helps to minimise face-to-face transactions which are said to offer favourable condition for corruption or bribery,” he said.

A representative of Hải Hà Real Estate Company in Hà Nội’s Cầu Giấy District said the online tax refund service together with other online tax services helped enterprises to save time and money a lot.

“The online services help create a healthier and more favourable business climate as enterprises are treated equally instead of some get biased because of informal facilitation payments,” he said.

Source VNA



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