Covid-19 is no longer only a health sector problem since its impact has been widespread throughout all aspects of people’s lives.  The global and Vietnam’s economy has experienced severe damage due to massive lockdowns and social distancing. Many enterprises, organizations, households, and individuals have had to shut down their businesses leading to great economic losses. Therefore, on April 8, 2020, the Government issued Decree 41/2020/ND-CP on the extension of deadlines for tax and land use fee payments (“Decree 41”) in order to reduce pressure onthose affected.  Decree 41 took effect immediately upon signing.

Subjects of application

Pursuant to Article 2 of Decree 41, the extension applies to the following:

  • Enterprises, organizations, households, individuals operating in agro-forestry-fisheries sector; construction sector; manufacturing essential products such as food, garments and textiles, wood, papers, straw and plastic products, metallurgy, mechanical engineering, etc.
  • Enterprises, organizations, households, individuals operating in different service sectors such as warehousing, accommodation and catering, education and training, health and social assistance, real estate, travel agents, tour operators, creative and recreational activities, sports activities, etc.
  • Enterprises, organizations, households, individuals producing auxiliary and key mechanical products.
  • Micro and small-medium sized enterprises as defined under the law.
  • Credit organizations, and branches of foreign banks which support their COVID-19 affected customers.

Extension of deadlines for tax and land use fee payment

For value added tax (VAT)

A five-month extension will be given for VAT of the tax periods of March, April, May and June 2020 (in case of monthly VAT declarations) and for the first and second quarter tax periods in 2020 (in case of quarterly VAT declarations).

Accordingly, the deadline for payment of VAT for the March period will be extended to 20 September 2020 and the deadlines for subsequent periods will be extended by one month of the deadline of the previous period resulting in 20 December 2020 becoming the deadline for the VAT tax period of June. Likewise, in the case of quarterly VAT declarations, 20 September 2020 will be the deadline for the first quarter tax period, while 20 December 2020 will be the deadline for second quarter one.

For enterprise income tax

Enterprises or organizations falling within the subjects of application will be given an extension of five months for their remaining enterprise income tax of 2019 tax finalization and their provisional tax of the first and second quarter tax periods.

For value added tax, personal income tax of household and individual businesses

The deadlines for all VAT and personal income tax which household and individual businesses have to submit in 2020 will be extended until 31 December 2020.

For land use fee

For enterprises, organizations, households and individuals who lease land under decisions or contracts with competent authorities in the form of an annual land fee payment – their deadlines for land use fee payment will be extended five months from 31 May 2020.

Particularly enterprises, organizations, households and individuals operating in multiple sectors, one of which is subjected to the extension as stipulated in Article 2, will still enjoy all the above-mentioned extensions for VAT and enterprise income tax.

Procedure for extensions

In order to receive these extensions, taxpayers must submit a request to tax management agencies before 30 July 2020. The request must be in the form stipulated in the enclosed Appendix.

Tax management agencies will not notify taxpayers if their requests are accepted and during extensions, tax management agencies will not charge late payment charges for the extension of the tax amount and land use fee.  However, if the tax management agencies determine that the taxpayers are not subjects of application, taxpayers will be notified and shall have the obligation to pay the full amount of tax, land use fees as well as any late payment charges for the extension period if the taxpayers have wrongly been given extensions.

Conclusion

Decree 41 is a prompt legislative response of the Government amid the outbreak of Covid-19.  It shows the great efforts of Vietnam to reduce damages to its economy.  According to the Ministry of Finance, it is estimated that a total of VND180 trillion worth of taxes and fees could be extended, to about 98% of enterprises, (i.e. more than 700.000 enterprises).

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