About 1,200 cars left behind by foreign diplomats when their office terms in Vietnam ended will be taxed under a finance ministry proposal, the Saigon Tiep Thi newspaper reported Tuesday.
The cars, brought into Vietnam between 1988 and 2009 by foreign diplomats, have either not been transferred to new owners or have been transferred but without paying transfer fees, the report said.
The overdue taxes are estimated at around VND1 trillion (US$48.61 million), it added.
The ministry's proposal has been submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently.
Under the proposal, people who bought the cars will have to pay taxes at current tax rates for new cars. The cars' value will be depreciated in accordance with the time they have been used in Vietnam.
Those who fail to make the payment will have their cars or number plates confiscated.
The new rules also aim to tighten control over cars imported by foreign diplomats in Vietnam. Cars imported by diplomats attract no taxes and it has been reported that this privilege has been misused by some of them in collusion with local residents.
In case imported cars are used, foreign diplomats have to re-export them when their office terms end. But, if the cars were bought brand new, they are allowed to be transferred as long as all regulated taxes and fees are paid.
In its draft, the finance ministry has also proposed that the ministries of foreign affairs, public security and industry and trade join hands to impose quotas on imports of duty-free cars and motorbikes by foreign diplomats.
If diplomats fail to follow regulations on dealing with their cars after their office terms, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would not provide the quota to their successors, the report quoted ministry sources as saying.