Taxpayers embrace online refund option hinh anh 1A tax worker gives guidance to a resident about submitting tax refund applications online at the Thanh Xuan district's Tax Department in ​Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)

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

The online tax refund service was first introduced in the taxation departments of Hanoi 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 Hai Phong, Dong Nai, Da Nang, Can Tho, Quang Ninh and Khanh Hoa.

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 5.5 trillion VND (244 million USD) was reimbursed.

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

Le Thi Duyen, 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, Duyen 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.

Vien Viet Hung, deputy director of Hanoi’s Taxation Department, said that since early this year, 102 enterprises operating in export or investment projects had their tax reimbursed online.

Hung 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 the Hai Ha Real Estate Company in Hanoi’s Cau Giay 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.-VNA