Tax payers have right to appeal audit decisions: NA deputies

Tax payers can appeal the decisions of State audit agencies if they believe the decisions are illegal or harmful to their operation, National Assembly deputies said on Friday.

 

Tax payers can also sue the State audit agencies for making those decisions, NA deputy Nguyen Huu Cau said at a debate of the 14th National Assembly’s seventh meeting.

Such suits would comply with the amended law for the Law of Audit 2015, according to Cau.

Under the draft Law of Tax Management, the State audit agency must send a request to the tax payer so tax is collected when the agency carries out its duties at the tax department.

If anything is found against the rules and the tax payer disagrees with the request, the tax payer may appeal the decision.

Then the tax department is required to re-calculate the tax they should be paying.

However, the process outlined in the draft law disables the State audit agency’s decision and jurisdiction, which goes against the Constitution and the Law of Audit 2015 on the legality of the audit reports and decisions.

The rules clearly state the report or decision of the State audit is binding, Cau said.

If those being audited disagree with the decision, they have the right to appeal and the decision maker – the State audit – must be bound to that decision, not the tax department, he said.

He suggested policy makers reconsider the draft. If the State audit agency disagrees on a tax payer’s duties, the tax department must issue a decision based on the State audit’s opinions. Then the State audit will follow the process of tax collection and appeal.

Cau also said the State Inspectorate should be held more accountable in tax collection so there is no room for personal interests in enforcing the Law of Tax Management.

However, allowing the State Inspectorate to deal with tax collection wrongdoings may be complicated, deputy Nguyen Truong Giang said.

“What the State Audit and the State Inspectorate do is under the Law of Audit and the Law of Inspection, not the Law of Tax Management,” Giang said.

The two State agencies do not focus on tax collection and management only, so binding the two agencies to this draft law may be overlap their duties, he added.

According to Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung, the decision of the State audit agency is binding, but not administrative and the State Audit of Vietnam is the final level to handle appeals.

Tax payers often appeal the decisions of the tax departments, not the State audit and inspection agencies, he said.

Tax delays

Some deputies wanted to raise penalties for delaying tax payments from 0.03 per cent per day to 0.05-1.5 per cent per day.

They expressed concern that the 0.03 per cent penalty rate is too low compared to some banks’ interest rates and businesses can take advantage of this.

But the National Assembly Standing Committee proposed deputies keep the current penalty rate to foster the development of businesses, especially as the global economy has encountered some negative developments in the last two years.

According to deputy Duong Minh Tuan, the penalty rate should be raised, to at least level with bank interest rates, so that businesses cannot save the money, which is supposed to be paid at the tax department, for some returns.

“That action would be unfair for those strictly following the rules,” he said. “There should be separate regulations for that businesses that want tax exemption or reduction.”

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