Aircraft importer free from taxes after gifting planes to state

TN News

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Vietnam's Finance Ministry announced Friday that four aircraft imported by a private company will be exempt from all taxes as the company has given them as gifts to the Ministry of National Defense.

The Finance Ministry said Vietnamese laws put no taxes on weapons, aircraft and accessories used for national security and defense purposes, news website VietNamNet said Saturday.

The aircraft, including two flat wing planes made by Czech manufacturer ATEC, and two helicopters made by the US's Rotoway, would have been subject to a 10 percent value added tax and a 30 percent special consumption tax.

Each of the two-seat aircraft costs some US$150,000, said the Hanoi-based company that imported them, Hanh Tinh Xanh (Green Planet). They were shipped to Vietnam by sea last October.

The company gifted them to the Ministry of Defense's Northern Aviation Club for a project promoting aviation knowledge for defense purposes, the VietNamNet report said.

However, the article also said the planes were initially to be used to train pilots and/or be rented out or sold to private owners.

Vietnam has two private aircraft belonging to Doan Nguyen Duc, one of the country's richest men and owner of Vietnam's second largest listed real estate firm Hoang Anh Gia Lai, and Tran Dinh Long, who owns the Hoa Phat Group, Vietnam's largest listed steel producer.

Duc claims to spend around VND300 million (US$14,300) operating his $5.1 million plane every month.

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