Vietnam hybrid car importers feel robbed of tax breaks

TN News

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Five importers of hybrid cars have complained that they were not given tax incentives promised for energy-efficient vehicles, and said they are planning to take legal action against local customs departments.

The importers said they were supposed to pay only 70 percent of the luxury tax imposed on hybdrid cars said to be more environmentally friendly, but were being asked to pay the entire 100 percent. News website VnExpress did not name the importers in its Monday report. 

As the 30 percent tax savings would amount to several million dollars, the importers all based in Ho Chi Minh City have refused to pay it and some even planned to quit the business altogether, the report said.

It said they have appointed a law firm to help them file a complaint to the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

The Special Consumption Tax Law stipulates that cars in which gasoline accounts for no more than 70 percent of the total energy consumption will attract 70 percent of the luxury tax imposed on imported cars.

An unnamed official at the General Department of Vietnam Customs said in the VnExpress report that it will be hard for both importers and customs officers to determine whether a hybrid car is eligible for the tax incentive.

However, he said the customs departments had acted in haste in ordering additional payment of the 30 percent.

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