Vietnam plans to drop fines for some tax defaulters

By Hong Suong, Thanh Nien News

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 A tax office in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Thang
The Ministry of Finance plans to forgo fines imposed on businesses which were behind their tax due date if their partners, including state agencies, had failed to pay them on time in accordance with contract terms.
In a draft to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval, the ministry plans to relieve the businesses of additional tax expenses that arose before July 1, 2013, as long as they can clear their back taxes by this December 31.
Tax agencies may also stop looking for tax defaulters who had unpaid taxes before July 2013 and have shut down their businesses since. The purpose is to avoid increasing tax collection costs. 
Pham Dinh Thi, chief of tax policies department under the finance ministry, told a local newspaper that tax dues of companies that have shut down are around VND9 trillion (US$394.16 million).
In July the finance ministry released a list of 600 top defaulters around the country in an attempt to shame them into paying their back taxes estimated over VND12.65 trillion ($573.38 million) as of June 30.
The move sent many businesses rushing to make their payments. In Hanoi, for instance, 175 out of 268 listed tax defaulters have so far paid more than VND1.1 trillion ($48.17 million).
However, many others such as mobile phone retailer The Gioi Di Dong complained that they were mistakenly shamed and later had their names cleared.

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