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Jan 10, 2020 / 12:15

Vietnam taxation authority hits Coca-Cola with US$35-million tax

Vietnam’s tax authority requested Coca-Cola Vietnam to fulfill its obligations within 10 days since being informed of the fine.

The General Department of Taxation (GDT) of Vietnam has decided to fine Coca-Cola Vietnam with an amount of VND821 billion (US$35.44 million), citing the company’s false tax declaration leading to its falling short of financial obligations, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

 Illustrative photo.

As per the decision, Coca-Cola Vietnam is asked to pay VND471 billion (US$20.33 million) in tax arrears, of which value-added tax amounted to over VND60 billion (US$2.59 million), corporate tax VND359 billion (US$15.5 million), and nearly VND52 billion (US$2.24 million) in tax payment on behalf of foreign contractors.

The tax authority added Coca-Cola Vietnam has to pay a penalty of VND288.6 billion (US$12.46 million) for late payment, which was due December 16, 2019, as well as VND61.6 billion (US$2.65 million) for administrative violation.

The GDT noted Coca-Cola Vietnam is responsible for calculating the penalty of late payment from December 16, 2019 until its payment.

The GDT requested Coca-Cola Vietnam to fulfill its obligations within 10 days since being notified of the fine. Afterwards, enforcement measures would be applied to ensure the payment.

In its statement on January 9, Coca-Cola Vietnam said it “has always conducted its business in Vietnam with integrity and respect for all local laws.”

According to the company, from March 2017 to December 2019, the GDT conducted an audit of Coca-Cola, looking into records spanning nine years from 2007 to 2015. Coca-Cola Vietnam has fully cooperated with the GDT by providing the required information and documentation needed for the GDT to conduct its audit.

During the course of the audit, Coca-Cola Vietnam admitted to having made certain minor errors and has informed the GDT that it will fully settle the required obligations.

Coca-Cola Vietnam said it is committed to fully comply with all local tax requirements, adding it will continue working collaboratively with the Vietnamese government to resolve this matter consistent with its commitment to conduct its business in Vietnam with the highest level of integrity and utmost respect for all local laws.

In the past, Coca-Cola Vietnam was suspected of transfer pricing due to its consecutive losses in many years while continuously expanding the business operation.

In October 2015, the company paid US$20 million in taxes for its operations in 2014, marking its first payment to Vietnam’s tax authority after 20 years of operating in the country.

The company said it has so far contributed US$150 million to the state budget in various types of taxes, including US$32 million in corporate tax.