In a new effort to collect back taxes from businesses, authorities in Hanoi are considering banning companies from starting new projects until all dues are paid, local media reported on Friday.
Details about the plan were sketchy, but news website VnExpress said the city's tax office has apparently had problems with collecting unpaid taxes from real estate businesses in particular.
Since last year scores of property developers have been named and shamed into paying tax dues. Many however have not fulfilled their obligations while continuing to work on new projects, it said.
This year Hanoi's tax office has named 807 businesses in all industries defaulting on more than VND1.73 trillion (US$76.73 million) in taxes and land rents.
In an interview with news website Dau Tu, Mai Son, deputy chief of Hanoi's tax office, said many businesses refused to pay taxes despite the name-and-shame policy, due to the economic slowdown.
Up to 8,000 businesses in Hanoi applied for dissolution in the first quarter, twice the number seen in the same period last year, Son said.
Under Vietnam's existing laws, businesses which are 90 days behind tax payment deadline will have their bank accounts frozen or invoices invalidated, among various punitive measures. Tax agencies may also deduct money from their bank accounts when necessary.
Vietnamese tax authorities have been stepping up their collection of overdue taxes, as the state revenue has been hit by the world oil slump and tax cuts under free trade agreements.
Old, unpaid personal and business taxes in Vietnam swelled to VND76 trillion ($3.36 billion) at the end of April, up 4.3 percent from December, according to figures from the General Department of Taxation.
Vietnam's state revenue posted a year-on-year increase of 1.2 percent to VND317 trillion ($13.91 billion) in the first four months, compared to the rise of 9.4 percent recorded the same period last year, according to the finance ministry's data.