Deputy Finance Minister (MoF) Do Hoang Anh Tuan brings some light to why it would be hard to achieve a target of having 190,000-200,000 businesses filling their tax declarations online by the year’s end.
The number of firms making online tax declarations remains modest since the debut of the service 18 months ago though the move could help firms save time and cost. Why it was?
In fact, online tax declarations could help firms save much time and cost. For instance, firms have to go to tax bodies at least 12 times per year for filling tax documents.
If resorting to the internet, firms can fill their tax declarations around the clock every day and seven days in a week instead of queuing at tax bodies waiting for turns to hand in tax documents.
Conveniences are apparent, but notwithstanding only 118,000 businesses had registered to fill in tax documents online as of June 30, 2012.
Is online tax declarations a complex process?
It is simple. Firms only need to have certified digital signatures provided by public digital signature service providers, have the ability to link to the internet and contact through e-mails with tax organisations and online tax declaration service providers (T-VAN). Certified digital signatures may not be required in online tax declarations if firms pay their taxes using banks’ ATMs, internet or mobile services.
Why are firms reluctant with conveniences associated with online tax declarations?
Firms have attributed less-than-modern information technology infrastructure and incomplete declaration software to why they were not interested in using the service. However, in my view firms’ accountancy staff members do not want to fill tax declarations online.
In fact, accountancy staff members in most small- and medium-sized sized enterprises (SMEs) are weak in professional and IT qualifications, so they prefer using traditional filling methods than doing declarations online.
Current digital signature certification and T-VAN services are reportedly costly, failing to attract SMEs to use the services. Is that the case?
Scores of SMEs, particularly those in southeastern region and Ho Chi Minh City do not have specialised accounting staff. They lease outside people to do accounting services for them. This saves them costs but that cost is not lower than using digital signature certification and T-VAN services. As far as I know, the cost of using such services was around VND1.5 million ($70) per year one year ago and is now halved and is trending downward since more firms providing these services came into existence.
What must we do to increase online tax declarations among firms?
Parallel to propagation and support activities, the MoF needs to regulate online tax declarations by law. Particularly, the amended Law on Tax Management shall regulate firms to handle activities with tax bodies using IT progress. For their part, tax bodies are obliged to support firms in enhancing accounting capacity, modernising accounting software or in information exchanges.
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