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Foreign experts assess tax reforms   2009-02-24 - Viet Nam News

Tax reform will play a significant role hi the development of the domestic economy as well as in ensuring State budget revenues, said experts at a seminar in Ha Noi yesterday.

The two-day symposium "Viet Nam Tax Reform Supported by EU Technical Assistance," jointly organised by the Ministry of Finance and the European Technical Assistance Programme for Viet Nam, focused on issues in the implementation of the laws on personal and corporate income tax, as well as environmental protection taxes and property taxes.

Representatives from the ministry and the General Department of Taxation gave overviews of each of these tax systems as they currently exist in Viet Nam.

European experts addressed such issues as risk management in the administration of the personal income tax, double taxation avoidance agreements, models of tax administration using IT and electronic declaration, and environmental fees and charges.

Others gave recommendations for implementing land and property taxes in Viet Nam, the relation between the Law on Corporate Income Tax and international tax treaties, and tax-related measures to stimulate investment and consumption and to prevent economic recession.

The nation is in its third phase of tax reform now that it has joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and must abide by bilateral and multilateral commitments such as the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the US-Viet Nam Bilateral Trade Agreement. These international commitments have resulted in a significant reduction in revenues from import taxes, which have constituted nearly a third of the nation's total tax revenues, excluding revenue from crude oil, in previous years.

Decision No 201/2004/ QD-TTg set forth the Prime Minister's "Tax Reform Strategy Towards 2010" with a view to promulgating new tax concepts to make up for the lost revenue.

The European Technical Assistance Project for Viet Nam has received funding of around 11 million euros from the European Commission. The project launched at the end of 2005 and continued through April of this year, providing technical assistance and support to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Science and Technology with major objectives including sustainable economic development, environmental protection, hunger elimination and poverty reduction.

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