The General Department of Taxation said during an online meeting on April 6 that it will step up tax reforms to improve the business environment.

The department plans to cut at least 10 percent of tax administrative procedures and simplify at least 20 percent of the current procedures to reduce tax filing hours to 121.5 hours per year as per a Government Resolution or to 171 hours per year (included social insurance filing hours).

As of January 2015, tax filing hours were reduced by 370 hours per year and must be cut by another 45.5 hours to reach the average level of ASEAN-6.

Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said at a meeting detailing measures that a determination from the tax agencies is needed to achieve the target.

The General Department of Taxation said the application of information and technology will be hastened during tax filings going forward, adding that IT applications will be implemented before June 30.

Specifically, 60 percent of tax refund filings and tax reimbursement will be conducted online by the end of September and the rate is expected to be raised to 95 percent a year after that.

The tax department said the number of businesses using online tax payments remains modest, only 41,800 enterprises out of a total 488,000 enterprises nationwide, or 8.5 percent. The General Department of Taxation plans to boost the percentage of businesses using online tax payments to at least 90 percent by the end of September.

Deputy Minister of Finance, Do Hoang Anh Tuan, also pointed out that the application of IT in tax payment for business households, which numbered up to 1.6 million is also limited, recommending that tax payment can be conducted via mobile devices, such as smartphones.

The 2014 Doing Business report by the World Bank showed that Vietnam is among countries that have the highest tax filing hours of up to 537 hours, ranked 149 out of 189 countries, based on this indicator of business environment.-VNA