Tax authorities have been told to collect tax debts of enterprises totalling 23.5 trillion VND (over 1 billion USD), or an 18.8 percent year-on-year increase, by the end of July (Photo: baotinnhanh.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Tax authorities have been told to collect tax debts of enterprises totalling 23.5 trillion VND (over 1 billion USD), or an 18.8 percent year-on-year increase, by the end of July, the General Department of Taxation (GDT) reported.

According to Phi Van Tuan, Deputy General Director of GDT, at the beginning of this year, the GDT had set a target of collecting tax debts of enterprises for the tax authorities and instructing them to carry out strong measures to retrieve debts.

Tax authorities are required to review all tax debts of enterprises and timely adjust “virtual” debts due to errors of accounting and invoices.

Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said after the National Assembly passed the State budget estimates, the Ministry of Finance identified that the State budget balance would certainly become more intense as the global oil price plummeted early this year. By doing so, the finance ministry had instructed tax authorities and customs at all levels to promptly collect tax debts of enterprises.

Dung said that of the total of 75.23 trillion VND in tax arrears until May 31, 2016, the overdue debts had already reached 34.55 trillion VND for a period over 90 days. Tax authorities are required to make every effort to collect this amount. Dung also said penalties for late payments incurred by enterprises climbed to 25.1 trillion VND, accounting for 33.4 percent.

Outstanding tax debts worth 15.55 trillion VND are the most difficult to collect. This is attributed to problems of tax payers whose businesses were dissolved or went bankrupt, or the business owners and legal representatives were dead, missing or fled their residences. Tax agencies have to classify all kind of tax debts and then report to the National Assembly for a final decision.

With regard to the tax collection till July this year, the GDT had set a target of collecting 97 percent of tax debts. Of this figure, 13 cities and provinces had to collect tax arrears of 19.5 trillion VND.

According to statistics of the GDT, some 55 out of 63 cities and provinces have seen their tax debts rising.

Nguyen Dai Tri, Deputy General Director of GDT, said difficulties in collecting tax debts were that many businesses deliberately delayed their tax debts. As a result, tax authorities have to implement strong measures to force them to pay debts. Obviously, strong measures sometime had a bad influence on the image of enterprises and their business performance, Tri said.-VNA