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Vietnam Launches Nationwide E-Invoice Project

The Minister of Finance, Ho Duc Phoc, recently launched a nationwide electronic invoice programme in Hanoi. During the inauguration, he said that e-invoices are crucial in creating a transparent and fair business environment, a more streamlined administrative process, and higher productivity. They are an integral part of Vietnam’s national strategy for digitalisation. The Ministry’s e-invoice project will significantly improve the level of transparency and effectiveness of the country’s tax regime while helping cut costs and improve the business environment.

With the introduction of an info portal for taxpayers outside of Vietnam and the Etax-mobile app, the country’s tax authority has significantly improved its ability to oversee and manage online commercial activities and tax procedures. According to a press release, taxpayers now have been granted access to easier ways to proceed with their tax applications using mobile platforms. The Ministry learnt, after a short but successful pilot e-invoice programme, that the apps play an important role in convincing businesses to switch to digital modes. According to the General Department of Taxation, all businesses included in the pilot programme have moved to use e-invoices. The Department said the next phase of the programme will be implemented on an even larger scale, covering all localities across the country.

At the event, the Prime Minister, Phạm Minh Chinh, said that digitalisation is the next step in the national development strategy, in line with the global movement. Tax reform remains a key objective for the government and the tax authorities can count on the government’s support for modernisation, he stated. He urged the Ministry and the General Department to help raise awareness of the benefits of using e-invoices and provide additional support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and household businesses to make the transition.

The head of the General Department informed that the goal is to help all businesses move to e-invoices by the end of June. In the meantime, the Department will continue to improve its technology and infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Other government agencies are going digital as well. In February, OpenGov Asia reported on the customs sector’s plans to implement tech-based solutions to achieve the target of paperless customs procedures this year. The initiative was started because of a directive issued by the General Department of Customs to enhance administrative reform and simplify customs procedures. The project intends to build a robust, digital, and smart customs sector. Accordingly, all customs procedures nationwide will be conducted on digital platforms.

The sector has been stepping-up connectivity and digital transformation through the national single window system. The government also made consorted efforts to accelerate the implementation of the action plan to promote the ASEAN single-window mechanism, which is linked with the sector’s information-technology system. The sector will build digital customs platforms based on big data and will deploy cutting-edge technologies, striving to take the lead in the government’s national digital transformation plan.

Approved in June 2020, the national digital transformation programme promotes technology to deliver better quality services, support efficient decision-making, formulate better policies, optimise resources, and aid socio-economic development. Under the plan, the government will operate specialised network infrastructure securely, connect four administrative levels from the central to the commune level, and build a government cloud computing platform, among others.

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