More than 13.3 trillion VND (637 million USD) in taxes have been reportedly exempted, reduced and extended for payment in 2011 in an attempt to support enterprises in the context of the sluggish economy at home and abroad.

The figure was announced by Deputy Director General of General Department of Taxation Tran Van Phu at a meeting in Hanoi on Dec. 26 to review tax collection in 2011.

Of that figure, nearly 9.5 trillion VND (450 million USD) was from payment extensions for corporate income tax.

The remainder was from the reduction and exemption of taxes, including nearly 2 trillion VND (94 million USD) of personal income tax and over 1.9 trillion VND (92.1 million USD) of household business income tax.

"The exemption, reduction and extension of tax payments have helped to stabilise enterprises in a year when access to credit has been difficult," Phu said.

He also noted that 525 trillion VND (25 billion USD) in taxes had been collected this year, 16.3 percent higher than previously estimated.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan urged the taxation staff to thoroughly prepare for new laws which will come into effect next year. The laws include the Law on Non-agricultural Land Use Tax and the Law on Environment Protection Tax.

"The revised Law on Personal Income Tax will also be submitted to the National Assembly for discussion next year," Tuan noted.

He also asked the sector to increase tax collection by 5 to 8 percent. /.