Amended tax and public investment laws passed

National Assembly (NA) deputies on Thursday passed the draft amendment of the Law of Tax Management with 91.32 per cent of all deputies approving the draft law.

 

Among new items in the amended law is the authorisation of Government officials in the elimination of businesses’ tax liabilities that have been unpaid and overdue for at least 10 years.

Under the amended law, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee can erase tax liabilities worth a maximum VND5 billion (US$215,000). Directors of the general tax and customs departments are able to remove overdue tax liabilities worth VND5-10 billion.

The finance minister is authorised to eliminate overdue tax liabilities worth VND10-15 billion and the Prime Minister can erase unpaid tax liabilities worth more than VND15 billion.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee is also responsible for reporting tax collection and management status to the provincial People’s Council at the beginning of each year.

The finance minister has to do the same and report tax management to the Government and the National Assembly when the State budget spending is settled.

The amended law also asks commercial banks to provide data and information of customers – also tax payers – to tax agencies and work with tax agencies to perform tax collection activities while ensuring tax payers’ information is secure and not falsified.

Banks are also authorised to freeze the accounts of tax payers by request of the tax agencies if the payers do not pay taxes voluntarily.

The amended Law of Tax Management will take effect on July 1, 2020.

State-funded projects

The amendment of the Law on Public Investment was also passed on Thursday by NA deputies with 90.7 per cent of all deputies approving.

The amended law will still empower the National Assembly to make the final decision on the list of national medium-term State-funded projects instead of giving it to the Government and the National Assembly Standing Committee.

Deputies also rejected the Government’s proposal to increase funding for national-scale projects to VND20 trillion ($860 million) from the existing VND10 trillion.

During the sixth meeting of the 14th National Assembly held in October 2018, the Government proposed the National Assembly increase the funding for national-scale projects to VND35 trillion from the existing VND10 trillion, but the National Assembly rejected the suggestion.

Deputies also voted to maintain funding levels for tier A, B and C projects, which are classified in articles 8, 9 and 10 of the 2014 Law on Public Investment.

In addition, the amended law requires local authorities, ministries and Government agencies to develop a financial plan, which includes the public investment projects' total funding estimate and requires State to provide the counterpart capital.

Based on their calculations, the Government agencies are able to approve the project development plans and disburse the exact amount of State funds for the projects.

State Securities Commission

Deputy Vu Thi Luu Mai suggested the Ministry of Finance keep managing the State Securities Commission (SSC) instead of making the stock market regulator an independent unit under direct management of the Government.

“If the SSC is made independent, it may increase the number of staff, amount of payrolls and spending for the State budget,” she said on Thursday.

It is not the matter of under which ministry and agency the SSC should be managed, deputy Hoang Quang Ham said, adding the commission must stay self-legislating and be empowered to make sure the Vietnamese equity market works properly and transparently.

Under the management of the finance ministry, SSC has made great contributions to the rapid development of the Vietnamese stock market, Ham said.

If the SSC status is changed to a government-controlled unit, its organisational structure may be overhauled, causing unexpected changes on the stock market, he added.

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