More Reforms Needed to Better Facilitate Business Development

11:21:59 AM | 12/5/2022

On November 22, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) coordinated with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to organize a business conference on tax and customs policies and procedures in 2022. The event was attended by VCCI President Pham Tan Cong, Deputy Finance Minister Cao Anh Tuan, Deputy General Director of the General Department of Taxation Vu Chi Hung, Deputy General Director of General Department of Customs Mai Xuan Thanh, tax officers and representatives of 400 companies and business associations.

VCCI President Pham Tan Cong addresses the business conference on tax and customs policies and procedures

Reforms to better serve businesses

Speaking at the gathering, VCCI President Pham Tan Cong emphasized that this year's dialogue is to seek solutions to the existing and emerging hardships and obstacles in the tax and customs sectors. The conference is also an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between tax and customs authorities with the business community in sharing information, discussing appropriate cooperation mechanisms, and creating an open and favorable environment for the operations of both authorities and the business community.

Deputy Minister of Finance Cao Anh Tuan also stressed that, to support businesses and people, the Ministry of Finance has coordinated with the Ministry of Planning and Investment to propose and advise the Government to submit Resolution 43/2022/QH15 on fiscal and monetary policies in support of the Socioeconomic Development and Recovery Program to the National Assembly for approval and continued to carry out solutions on tax, fee and land rent extension, exemption and reduction. Expectedly, in 2022, these solutions will support businesses and people with about VND233 trillion of taxes, land rents, fees and charges (including VND98 trillion of taxes, fees and charges exempted or reduced and VND135 trillion of taxes and land rents extended for payment terms). Clearly, this year witnesses the biggest size and scope of tax, fee and charge support for businesses and people in many years.

As state budget revenue is greatly affected while ensuring enough budget for regular spending needs, ensuring capital sources for development investment and especially increasing expenditure for social security and pandemic prevention, the implementation of these support solutions shows the resolve of authorities to support businesses and people.

The Ministry of Finance has launched many activities to improve institutions, reform administrative procedures and modernize activities to facilitate business development. Specifically, from 2014 till now (eight consecutive years), the Ministry of Finance has always ranked in the Top 3 ministries on the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index) announced by the Government PAR Steering Committee.

In the tax field, the ministry has continued to expand the scope of the electronic tax declaration, payment and refund system. The electronic tax declaration system has been deployed in all 63 provinces and cities and all tax agencies, with 99.9% of companies using electronic tax declaration services, 98.9% paying taxes electronically and 99% registering for electronic tax refunds. In particular, the e-invoice system was officially launched nationwide for all users from July 1, 2022. The Electronic Portal for Foreign Suppliers was opened from March 21, 2022 to facilitate tax declaration, payment and management for foreign suppliers in addition to Etax Mobile App.

In the customs field, the ministry has further boosted the National Single Window and the ASEAN Single Window; managed, supervised and ensured operations of VNACCS/VCIS automatic customs clearance system and centralized information technology systems with safe, secure smooth communication lines; strongly developed and implemented information technology applications to facilitate import and export activities and build a smart customs model to reduce paperwork, time and cost of export and import administrative procedures, fundamentally change management methods of specialized inspection, move toward international integration and develop strong digital customs services.

Aggressively solving problems

At the conference, tax and customs officials introduced new policies since November 2021, and directly and satisfactorily answered questions raised by attending enterprises.

A representative of the Vietnam Cassava Association proposed value-added tax refunds for some cassava enterprises because cassava is one of the 13 key agricultural products of Vietnam, which brought in an export value of US$1.35 billion in 2021 and generated jobs for 1.2 million workers. Without proper and effective solutions, cassava companies will face grave difficulties. The General Department of Taxation said that it will continue to study solutions to thoroughly deal with this matter and encourage companies to do genuine business, without losing revenue for the state budget.

Thanh Cong Vietnam Automobile Manufacturing Corporation reported problems in Circular 11/2022/TT-BKHCN dated August 10, 2022 of the Ministry of Science and Technology on annulment of regulatory documents on methods of determining automobile localization rate. The firm believed that the abolition of regulations on discrete components will create a loophole in the legal corridor, discourage enterprises from investing in domestic assembly plants as well as parts manufacturers. The company emphasized that removing regulations on the discrete degree of components will also prompt enterprises to cut production stages because the import of semi-finished components will result in shrinking the labor force and negatively affecting social development.

Thanh Cong Vietnam Automobile Manufacturing Corporation proposed adding regulations on discrete degree to decrees or specific instructions, creating a legal corridor for enterprises to feel secure in machinery and equipment production and investment. The company said, in the transition period, with regulations on discrete level of components in force, enterprises will continue to enjoy preferential duty and tax refund incentives under Decree 125/2017/ND-CP and Decree 101/2021/ND-CP.

Regarding Decree 101/2021/ND-CP, Thanh Cong Vietnam Automobile Manufacturing Corporation proposed supplementing and providing clear instructions for application of incentives under Decision 229/QD-TTg dated February 4, 2016 of the Prime Minister for subjects stated therein and avoid controversial inconsistencies

Remarking on solutions to continued support for businesses in the coming time, the Ministry of Finance will continue reform in all aspects: perfecting institutions and reforming administrative procedures more comprehensively and effectively.

By Le Hien, Vietnam Business Forum