Vietnam: draft circular on ecommerce taxation raises mixed reactions

Monday 15 December 2014 14:02 CET | News

The Ministry of Industry and Trade draft circular, which requires ecommerce and social media site retailers to register their transactions to facilitate the collection of taxes as of January 2015, has drawn mixed reactions, reports.

According to Tran Thanh Hai, general director of Vietnam Gold Business, cited by the source, it is difficult to tax retailers who use websites like Facebook because the host server is outside Vietnam and the retailers may be based in another country. These individuals can shut down problematic Facebook pages at any time and it is impossible for authorities to track down their owners or operators.

Lawyer Nguyen Thanh Ha, chairman and CEO of S&B Law, mentions another issue: millions of people sell goods online using anonymous accounts and this is why it is very difficult to regulate their activities, unlike in developed countries with better IT infrastructure, which are more capable of monitoring and regulating such activity. On the other hand, Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan, the owner of online restaurant Nang Ganh, believes that the regulation is “necessary”, as it aims to protect consumers and businesses alike.

In order to impose a tax on sellers, the trade ministry must gather information about individuals or organizations who opened accounts to run online retail businesses from the Ministry of Information and Communications, the same source indicates. At the same time, commercial banks must monitor online shopping revenues and deduct taxes from such transactions.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is currently polling public opinions about the circular before officially issuing it.

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Keywords: draft circular, ecommerce taxation, The Ministry of Industry and Trade, social media site retailers, online transactions
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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