Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung pledged to offer tax extensions and simplify payment procedures on the heels of more bad news about business closures and suspensions.
The Ministry of Investment and Planning reported that the number of businesses who either declared bankruptcy or suspended their registrations hit 37,612 in the first seven months this year, up 9.8 percent from the same period last year.
PM Dung then pledged to offer the tax relief measures to save businesses in turmoil.
He said the solutions may include value-added tax extensions for equipment imports and income tax extensions for contractors working on state-funded projects which have suffered stagnant disbursement from the troubled state budget.
The government leader said his cabinet will propose that the legislature approve more income tax support for businesses working in supporting industries and projects worth at least VND12 trillion.
Do Hoang Anh Tuan, Vice Minister of Finance, said the efforts will not only focus on cutting or extending taxes, but also on cutting the average tax declaration procedure to 171 hours by the end of 2015.
At present, its estimated that businesses spend more than 700 hours preparing taxes per year.
The Finance Ministry, which was ordered by the government to think of solutions to tackle rising business shutdowns, has proposed exempting struggling businesses from a huge amount of tax debt.
An unidentified ministry official told Tuoi Tre that around VND6.54 trillion (US$308.41 million) of taxes and penalties are expected to be cleared.
Bui Van Nam, director of the General Department of Taxation, said unpaid taxes and overdue tax penalties reached more than VND60.9 trillion ($2.88 billion) by the end of December 2013--a 10.64 percent increase year-on-year.
The arrears climbed a further VND7.5 trillion by the end of May.