Finance ministry talks taxes with businessmen hinh anh 1Customers wait at the Vietnam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System and the Vietnam Customs Information System at the Hai Phong Port Border Gate Customs Division Zone 1. (Source: VNA)

Finance leaders and more than 500 business representatives sat together on October 29 in Hanoi to discuss and answer questions raised by businesses relating to tax and customs policy and administrative procedures.

Speaking at the dialogue, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc said this was a frank dialogue to make an active contribution to the tax sector.

In recent years, the tax sector was one of the pioneer forces in the administrative reform of taxation, especially the implementation of the Government's Resolution 19/NQ-CP/2015 on key duties and solutions to improve the business environment and national competitiveness.

Loc said tax and customs were two key areas that the Prime Minister has directed to reform in recent years. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance has drastically made positive changes recently.

He added the business community has highly appreciated the efforts made by the authorities to adjust tax policy in recent years. It focused on adjusting tax rates, especially the corporate tax and import tax thus helping contribute to increasing export revenues and assisting businesses in the current economic situation.

He mentioned that the tax authorities have helped to improve Vietnam's business climate over the years. The World Bank has ranked Vietnam 90 out of 189 countries in its latest report on the ease of doing business globally.

In recent times, the business community has spoken highly of certain changes in the administrative reform of the financial sector, however, there remains many obstacles and difficulties.

Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan affirmed that the Government's resolution 19/ND-CP stipulating a regulation to cut the time for customs clearance and tax payments has brought many benefits for businesses.

According to the Ministry of Finance's data, the ministry has deployed the online tax filing system in the nation's 63 cities and provinces. As a result, the number of enterprises filing for tax payment on the Internet has amounted to 98.95 percent of the total number of operational firms in the country.

Over 458,000 businesses have used the online tax filing system by the end of October this year.

To improve administrative procedures on tax, Deputy General Director of General Department of Taxation Cao Anh Tuan said the Ministry of Finance has continued to review and issue legal documents to minimise administrative procedures and time for tax payment.

The time reduction from 420 hours last year to the current 117 hours beats the target set in the Government's Resolution 19/2015/NQ-CP. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung required the tax payment time to be lowered to less than 121.5 hours within this year. To this, the Finance Ministry has required tax authorities to further enhance online tax payment.

A representative of An Do Limited Company involved in exporting and importing garments and pesticides said the administrative procedures was a big hurdle thus making a negative impact on his business. Over the last nine months of this year, his business had to pay 620 million VND (28,000 USD) for cumbersome procedures.

He noted this should be changed to avoid losses to businesses (more expense and more time). If not, many small-scale businesses will dodge taxes.-VNA