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Vietnam’s General Department of Taxation Introduces E-commerce Information Portal

The General Department of Taxation (GDT) has officially put into operation its e-commerce information portal as well as enabling electronic invoices from cash registers. The portal has three main functions, including supporting e-commerce platforms in information supply and tax declaration on behalf of individuals and helping individuals file tax declarations.

The portal helps organisations, individuals, and business households apply for tax identification numbers for the first time. It provides information on tax policies for e-commerce in line with existing regulations. It also answers relevant tax questions, according to the Head of the GDT’s Tax Administration Department for Small and Medium Enterprises, Business Households and Individuals, Nguyen Thi Lan Anh.

According to the GDT, the tax sector cut administrative procedures to 234 from 304 in 2021 and completed the integration and provision of online public services on the National Public Service Portal, thus saving time and costs in tax administrative procedures.

Also in 2021, GDT debuted its e-tax application for mobile devices, Etax-mobile, to facilitate taxpayers, particularly amid the complicated developments of COVID-19. As of August last year, about 99% of enterprises in the country were using electronic tax services. However, the proportion was much lower among individuals due to inconvenient support software. Therefore, the department began the development of Etax-mobile. The application is available for individual use on iOS and Android platforms.

In addition to supporting functions provided on the e-tax system via the web platform, the app provides enhanced user experience services, additional search functions, and links to banks’ payment applications, as OpenGov Asia reported.

In April this year, the Minister of Finance launched a nationwide electronic invoice programme. The government regards e-invoices as crucial to 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 significantly improves the level of transparency and effectiveness of Vietnam’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. Taxpayers have 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 GDT, all businesses included in the pilot programme moved to use e-invoices.

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, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chinh, stated.

Under the National Digital Transformation Programme by 2025, the government will accelerate digital transformation through changes in awareness, enterprise strategies, and incentives toward the digitalisation of businesses, administration, and production activities.

The programme targets businesses, cooperatives, and business households that want to adopt digital transformation to improve their production, business efficiency, and competitiveness. The plan aims to have 80% of public services at level 4 online. Over 90% of work records at ministerial and provincial levels will be online while 80% of work records at the district level and 60% of work records at the commune level will be processed online.

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