Amendments will be made to Viet Nam's tax agent regulations to boost effectiveness, according to Deputy Director General of the General Department of Taxation (GDT) Vu Van Truong.
The move is also aimed at harmonising local regulations with international practices, he added, saying tax agent operations have remained moderate and unpopular since first brought into practice three years ago.
According to the Viet Nam Tax Consultancy Association, so far, as many as 83 companies across the country have registered to provide tax agent services, with over 930 people having earned certificates to operate.
However, most companies are small, six claiming no revenues from tax service provision.
Taxpayers still know little regarding tax agents and their services, which has contributed to the slow growth of the industry, said chairwoman of the association Nguyen Thi Cuc.
Agents, on behalf of individuals or companies, prepare and fulfil tax procedures including declarations, payments and the obtaining of tax refunds after receiving input figures.
Some have expanded their services to include quarterly, monthly and yearly service packages, Cuc said, adding that such a move helped agents gain clients.
Director of HCM City-based Trong Tin Tax Consultancy Nguyen Van Duoc said that under current regulations, tax authorities are required to publicly list agents and offer assistance on new policies and procedures.
However, he noted that few agents consulted tax authorities for support.
Meanwhile, under a national strategy for tax reform, the country has set a target of establishing at least 3,000 tax agents by 2015 and 8,000 by 2020. Truong said that to boost development amongst tax agents, the General Department of Taxation has drawn up comprehensive measures to improve legal framework and build capacity for tax employees.
The GDT would organise exams and grant certificates for providing tax services while local tax departments are assigned to oversee operations.
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