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Hai Phong Customs: high efficiency in tax debt collection

In parallel with the inspection and assessment of compliance by the business community, 2017 also realized a bright spot and a great effort in the post-clearance audit (PCA) in Hai Phong Customs, which is effective implementation of tax debt collection, thereby reducing tens of billion of tax debts.

Closely and actively

In 2017, Hai Phong Customs Department implemented Customs procedures for 20,923 enterprises, many of which are located in many provinces and cities across the country. This posed a lot of difficulties and challenges to the PCA forces in inspection and assessment of the compliance of enterprises. The inspection and assessment at the headquarters of enterprises outside the area was difficult, the urge to execute the decisions on tax assessment was more difficult.

One of the typical difficulties was tax debt collection for Regal Automobile Joint Stock Company (headquartered in Hanoi). On 29th August 2017, Hai Phong Customs Department issued Decision No. 3330 / QD-HQHP to impose a tax of VND 7.35 billion on Regal Automobile Joint Stock Company and Announcement 10958 / TB-HQHP on late payment of nearly VND1504 billion. The reason for tax imposition was re-determination of the taxable value for the imported goods of the company.

After receiving the above decision and announcement, on 20th September 2017, Regal Automobile Joint Stock Company sent an Official Letter 1909/2017 / CV-TXNK to Hai Phong Customs Department and General Department of Customs to express its determination to comply the tax assessment decision, however, because the company was in difficulty, it requested to fulfil a part of the tax obligation and to gradually pay the remaining amount.

Pursuant to the provisions of the law and in order to facilitate the company, the Customs authority has approved the company’s request. The company has been permitted to gradually pay the tax debts in accordance with the provisions of Article 39 of Decree No. 83/2013 / ND-CP guiding the implementation of the Law on Tax Administration and the Law amending and supplementing some articles of Law on Tax Administration.

It was thought that such a facilitation would make the company cooperate well and comply with the commitment for tax payment. However, the company has still mentioned many reasons for delay. Therefore, Hai Phong Post Clearance Audit Branch had to send many delegations to Hanoi to work directly with the company.

"Before an urgent order was submitted by the Branch, in the beginning of November, 2017, Regal Automobile Joint Stock Company signed a commitment with the Branch to fully pay the tax in November or not later than at the end of December 2017. But at the end of 2017, the company paid VND 7 billion and owed nearly VND 2 billion. At present, the Branch has taken coercive measures to stop the Customs procedures with this company in accordance with the law, "- said the leaders of the Post Clearance Audit Branch.

Another case related to tax debt handling of an automobile importing company also noted the fierce engagement of the PCA Branch. An urgent order for collection of tax debts was submitted toThanh Cong Automobile Joint Stock Company (Quang Ninh). By reviewing, analyzing and reporting the results of the PCA, the Customs authority determined that the company had incorrectly declared the excise tax rate on small cars with 5 seater Ford F-150 (pick-up cars). Specifically, when carrying out import procedures, the company declared a special tax rate of 15% (for cars carrying passenger and cargo). However, the Certificate of quality, technical safety and environmental protection of imported motor vehicles issued by the Vietnam Register to the company expressed that the imported cars were pickup cars which allows to carry 5 people and has not realized the value of "volume of carriage by design" and "volume of carriage permitted to travel". Therefore, the excise tax rate must be exactly 60%.

After issuing the tax assessment decision, the Customs authority have taken many measures to urgently recover the debt such as issuing many official letters, urging the company to pay taxes; inviting the legal representative of the Company to the Customs head office; sending staff to the company’s headquarter. However, the legal representative of the Company has been absent and failed to pay tax.

Under that situation, based on the provisions of law, the customs office issues the coercive decision by deducting money from the Company's bank account. The banks have cooperated well with the Customs authority and transferred the remittance to the Customs account at the State Treasury 3 times with the recovered amount of VND 1.136 billion of the total imposed tax of VND 1,236 billion.

"Currently the company is in a tax debt of nearly VND 100 million, the Customs authority is continuing to monitor and urge the Company to pay the debt. In cases where the company still fails to pay the tax debt, the customs office shall carry out the coercive measures as provided in Article 93 of the Law on Tax Administration," said the representative of the PCA Branch.

According to the PCA Branch, with the efforts of the unit and the coordination of competent agencies , in 2017, the tax debt collection achieved very positive results, reducing the tax debts from over VND 72 billion in early 2017 to only about VND 3 billion.

Focusing on inspection subjects

In 2017, Hai Phong Customs Department collected and paid to the budget VND 366.66 billion from the PCA, exceeding VND 6.66 billion compared to the target, of which the PCA Branch contributed VND 336 billion and other Branches collected VND 30,66 billion. The result of tax collection from PCA of Hai Phong Customs in 2017 was ranked second among 35 local Customs Departments (after Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department) and contributed nearly 16.5% of total revenue by the PCA for the whole sector.

According to the Hai Phong Customs Department, in 2017, the unit has actively developed a project to implement the PCA in 2017 and implemented it effectively. Thereby, successfully completing the targets under the plan, especially the tax collection. In particular, in 2017, the unit successfully carried out a number of major inspection subjects such as the processing of goods, export production; ships; automobile price, electronic goods; safeguard tax on concrete reinforcing steel and steel billets.

Regarding the implementation of the task in 2018, the leaders of the PCA Branch said that complying with the direction of the General Department of Customs and Hai Phong Customs Department, right from the beginning of 2018, the Branch has actively implemented the tasks. In the coming time, the Branch shall continue to focus on the key tasks related to inspection and assessment of compliance of enterprises in order to contribute to preventing budget deficit. Furthermore, the PCA will help enterprises understand and to comply well with tax and Customs policies. At the same time, the Branch shall focus on management of authorized economic operators and advise the leaders of Departmentsin unified guidance and implementation of the PCA in the whole Department. In addition, the Branch also focuses on tax debt collection and strives to prevent new debts.