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Vietnam Today

Enterprises grappling with tax and customs offices

Released at: 13:55, 14/12/2015

Enterprises grappling with tax and customs offices

Survey reveals administrative reform in taxation and customs still have some way to go.

by Hoai An_ Nguyen Le

Fifty-five per cent and 64 per cent of enterprises remain concerned that they will be discriminated against if they do not pay informal fees in taxation and customs matters, respectively, according to a recent survey of 180 enterprises on the implementation of Resolution No. 19 from the government in taxation and customs.

The objective of the survey was to assess the implementation of administrative procedures and the degree of support to businesses in production and business activities. The survey was conducted by six different agencies: the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Ministry of Finance, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, and the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association.

The survey also revealed that although it is necessary for the two sectors to provide support and receive and share feedback, these factors have received inadequate attention. Only 28 per cent of respondents rated tax office staff as adopting a polite and respectful attitude while 26.3 per cent were dissatisfied with these offices. “The business community wants to receive careful concern, not just fulfill their responsibilities,” Chairman of VCCI Vu Tien Loc said.

There were some positive sentiments evident from the survey, with 66 per cent of respondents saying that information on administrative procedures in customs is now easier to find. Only 39 per cent, however, believe that customs authorities provide information quickly while 47 per cent said such information was simple and easy to understand.

Business associations also still have trouble regarding tax refunds and exemptions, such as long handling times (68 per cent), and the requirement to provide additional unnecessary information (54 per cent).

Similar problems were found in complaints and administrative violations in customs, with long handling times at 69 per cent and the requirement of to provide additional unnecessary information at 62 per cent.

President of the Central Institute for Economic Management, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Cung, said that reductions in clearance time could save $1 billion per year. Times for clearing both exports and imports now stand at over 20 days. 

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