Joint tax, customs to make reforms easier

Joint supervision in tax and customs between relevant ministries and bodies paved the way for reforms in the Government's economic management, Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Nguyen Thien Nhan said at a conference on a programme on tax and customs supervision in 2015 held in Hanoi on December 12.

According to Nhan, the programme showed that most businesses agreed many tax and customs procedures had been improved significantly.

The report showed that the tax and customs sector intensified dialogue, information exchange and helped businesses propose amendments and supplements to existing regulations.

In addition, the tax and customs administrative procedures are now publicly available on the website of relevant agencies.

The programme was organised by the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, the Ministry of Finance, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Cooperative Union, the Association of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises and the Vietnam Association of Youth Entrepreneurs.

According to Dau Anh Tuan, Director of the VCCI's Legal Department, a survey of 180 business associations and co-operative unions nationwide showed that services of tax and customs had been improved significantly.

According to the survey, 70-80% of surveyed units said that they were satisfied with procedures and services of tax declaration, registration and payment.

The survey reported that the business community made positive assessments of the behaviour and attitude of tax department staff. However, they wanted tax staff to be more enthusiastic and attentive.

As for customs, the survey showed that thanks to the joint programme, businesses expressed more satisfaction with customs information and administrative procedures. 66% of those surveyed said that information about administrative procedures in the field of customs is available and easy to find.

However, only 39% of business associations and co-operative unions thought that customs authorities provided information rapidly and timely, and 47% said the information was simple and easy to understand.

The most troublesome customs procedure problems firms faced were complaint settlement, administrative violation handling and customs clearance procedures. VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc said that the tax and customs sectors had to make greater reforms in these fields.

VCCI Tuan also said that procedures and services of tax checking and inspection as well as tax refund remained complicated.

To improve tax and customs in the future, Director of the Central Institute of Economic Management Nguyen Dinh Cung said that tax and customs should scrutinise regulations and documents to streamline procedures.

Cung said that the existing regulations and documents were inconsistent, dubious, non-transparent and inefficient.