03:22 (GMT +7) - Thursday 20/09/2018

Biz Traveler

MoF looking at accusations against Agoda.com

Released at: 08:00, 26/01/2017

MoF looking at accusations against Agoda.com

Illustrative image. Photo: vntrip,vn

Finance Ministry following up on accusations by local online hotel provider Vntrip.com regarding Agoda.com's tax affairs.

by Ngoc Lan

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is responding to accusations from a Vietnamese online hotel booking website that Singaporean-based competitor Agoda has evaded tax in Vietnam.

Mr. Le Dac Lam, CEO of Vntrip.com, told VET that the MoF is cooperating with the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to review Agoda’s accounts.

Under documents from MoF, foreign websites booking hotels in Vietnam like Agoda.com, Traveloka.com, Booking.com, and Expedia.com are subject to value added tax of 5 per cent and corporate income tax of 5 per cent. Tax liabilities are carried by establishments on behalf of foreign contractors. 

Vietnam, meanwhile, has signed contracts with foreign contractors and will withhold and pay tax on behalf of foreign contractors and submit tax finalization dossiers to Vietnamese tax authorities.

Customers pay directly for tourism accommodation facilities in Vietnam, including hotels, and tourism accommodation providers then pay commissions to foreign contractors. Accommodation facilities, therefore, pay tax on behalf of foreign contractors.

If customers pay money to foreign contractors, the contractor will then transfer money for the accommodation and take commissions. Tax authorities require accommodation facilities to notify foreign contractors about their tax obligations.

Vntrip.com accused Agoda.com of tax evasion in Vietnam in December. When Vietnamese customers pay $100 to Agoda.com, for example, the company holds $20 as a fee and $80 for the Vietnamese hotel, according to Mr. Lam. Therefore, that $20 lies outside of Vietnam and the economy does not benefit from related tax payments.

The 2014-established Vntrip.vn is a new online travel booking service provider in Vietnam. It completed Series A fund raising of $3 million last July from foreign investors, including the FengHe Group and Hancock Revocable Trust, and has been valued at VND300 billion ($13.6 million) by investors.

It launched services last July after a six-month trial. Services on Vntrip.vn can be paid for via credit card, internet banking, or cash payment at the hotel. It can also be accessed on Android and iOS platforms.

User comment (0)

Send comment

Latest

Vinasoy introduces new Fami Go soy drink
Vinasoy introduces new Fami Go soy drink