In an announcement published early last week, the Government Inspectorate said there were discrepancies in the inspection and post-inspection supervision of tax watchdogs, as well as in compliance to the established laws.
The tax watchdogs were found to have applied differing punishments for the same violations, triggering unfair practices among businesses, the inspectorate said.
In addition to these, the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Taxation did not manage the collection of taxes properly, resulting in mounting arrears, from VND55 trillion (US$2.4 billion) in 2012 to VND68.9 trillion in mid-2014. It also failed to maintain a close watch on the tax obligations of firms.
Tax avoidance remained rampant and complicated, especially the illegal use of bills, causing losses to the State budget.
The Hanoi Department of Taxation was found to have been irresponsible in its tax management, collection of tax arrears, especially land-use arrears, causing rising debts. The Government Inspectorate also said that the municipal tax watchdog was found to have violated land and construction management rules, pointing out that many developers used land for a long time without paying fees. By the end of 2015, arrears for the use of land totalled more than VND7 trillion.
The Government Inspectorate has recommended a criminal probe into two cases.
The first case concerns the construction of Dai Thanh Complex in Ta Thanh Oai commune, Hanoi’s Thanh Tri district.
“The State management and the executors of the project have committed serious violations,” the inspection reported, adding that the developer, at the time of the inspection, had not paid land-use fees but had already started the construction in March 2012.
The Government Inspectorate also found signs of illegal land transaction in the project and violation of rules during its construction.
The project including six apartment buildings at prices ranging from VND11 million to VND15 million per square metre, developed by Lai Chau Construction Private Enterprise No 1, had been in operation for around four years.
The second case was the alleged illegal use of bills by 21 companies for tax declaration, deduction and refund with a total value of VND822 billion. The Government Inspectorate said that there were signs of tax evasion.