31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Jul 31, 2022 / 13:07

Big techs pay Vietnam US$20 million in taxes in three-month period

Vietnam is now among the first four Southeast Asian countries collecting taxes from offshore service providers that currently do not have a representative office in the host country.

Three months since the launch of the information portal for offshore services providers, an estimated 26 major tech firms, such as Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, or TikTok, has made tax declaration and fulfilled their fiscal obligations paying over US$20 million.

 Vietnam is now stepping up efforts to collect taxes from online businesses. File photo

The figures were mentioned during a recent conference discussing the international experience in tax management for online business activities.

On March 21, the MoF launched an information portal for offshore services providers at the address etaxvn.gdt.gov.vn, designed to aid foreign entities without a representative office in Vietnam and mainly provide services in the cyber environment.

The portal not only helps foreign parties in electronic tax transactions but also access information on Vietnam’s tax policies and regulations related to e-commerce activities in the country.

“With this portal, Vietnam has been among the first four countries in ASEAN exercising tax jurisdiction over foreign entities operating on the cyber environment without a representative in the host country,” said expert Le Xuan Truong from the Academy of Finance.

According to Nguyen Viet Anh, a senior expert from the World Bank, over 20 countries worldwide have now collected taxes on digital firms.

Viet Anh said similar to other countries, Vietnam requires foreign service providers to declare and pay value-added taxe via the online portal, but there remain different tax rates between foreign and local firms.

Meanwhile, Vietnam continues to waive taxes for products of low value.

"The Vietnamese Government should hold digital platforms accountable to ensure that their business partners declare and pay taxes," Viet Anh said.

He called for an equal tax rate among Vietnamese and foreign businesses while starting to collect taxes on goods and services of low value.

A report from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) estimated the size of Vietnam’s e-commerce market at $13.7 billion in 2021, up 15% year on year, and is forecast to reach $39 billion by 2025.

This would put the country among the top three in terms of e-commerce development in ASEAN.

Tax administration in this field, however, proved to be a challenge for local authorities, noted the MoF’s report.