13:35 | 23/01/2020 Economy
(VEN) - Over the past year, Vietnam’s customs and tax authorities have taken steps to reform administrative procedures, improve the business environment and help enterprises perform their integration commitments in the most efficient manner.
Accelerating procedure reform
According to Deputy Director of the General Department of Taxation Nguyen The Manh, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) has recently coordinated with other ministries/agencies in implementing administrative procedure reforms, and improving the business environment to create favorable conditions for investors.
The MOF has submitted to the Government and the National Assembly the new draft Law on Tax Administration, which includes many administrative procedure reforms in the tax and customs areas. The MOF has also submitted to the government Decree 119 and Circular 68 providing specific instructions on electronic invoices. This is an important foundation for reform in the use and management of financial invoices and documents.
Regarding customs procedures, the MOF has issued and amended seven circulars; issued a decree regulating administrative procedures according to the National Single Window, a breakthrough in customs modernization reform.
Tax and customs authorities continue to apply information technology (IT) to tax and customs administration. Accordingly, 99.87 percent of enterprises have implemented electronic tax declarations; 99.53 percent made electronic tax payments, 93.61 percent received tax refunds on line. By the end of 2019, 188 out of 304 online public services at grades 3 and 4 were being provided online.
The Vietnam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System/Vietnam Customs Intelligence Information System (VNACCS/VCIS) has been deployed at all units under the General Department of Vietnam Customs, helping improve the efficiency of customs clearance activities in detecting and fighting against trade fraud and illegal trade. Customs and tax agencies are operating the single-window mechanism and providing favorable conditions for taxpayers and customs declarants.
Dialogue with enterprises
In recent meetings and dialogues between the MOF and enterprises, representatives of the General Department of Taxation and the General Department of Vietnam Customs cleared up queries relating to tax and customs procedures, focusing on difficulties experienced by a majority of enterprises or those arising during implementation of new policies. Among the queries were refund of import taxes, use of electronic invoices, value added tax, invoicing procedures, and preferential corporate income tax policies.
At tax agencies of city/district-level, the taxation sector provides software and supports newly-established enterprises in implementing electronic tax declarations, payment and refund using electronic invoices. It also strengthens tax declaration management, control of tax debt, and inspections to exploit sources of revenue from new investment projects.
In addition, as of the end of 2019, Vietnam is involved in 20 free trade agreements (FTAs), 12 of them already in effect, such as the ASEAN FTA, the ASEAN-China FTA, ASEAN-India FTA, and separate trade pacts with Japan and the Republic of Korea. In order to fulfill its tariff reduction commitments under these FTAs, the MOF has submitted 12 decrees on preferential tariffs for the government to issue. Additional FTAs are entering final stages of the tariff reduction roadmap. As for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), in addition to commitments to reduce import duties, Vietnam has also committed to reduce export taxes.
For enterprises, policies and administrative procedures in taxation and customs are of paramount importance and government agencies have always tried to support enterprises by implementing relevant policies. As for Vietnamese enterprises, they need to take advantage of opportunities for innovation, improved competitive capacity and further development, contributing to the country’s economic development goals in the current context of global integration and competition.