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Vietnam’s tax authorities tell Coca-Cola to fork out over $35 million in fines, tax arrears

Friday, January 10, 2020, 15:30 GMT+7
Vietnam’s tax authorities tell Coca-Cola to fork out over $35 million in fines, tax arrears
Consumers shop for Coca-Cola products at a supermarket in Vietnam. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Coca-Cola Vietnam is required to pay over VND821 billion (US$35.4 million) in fines and tax arrears as the company had made incorrect tax declaration, a source told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday.

According to the source, the General Department of Taxation has asked Coca-Cola Vietnam to pay more than VND471 billion ($20.3 million) in tax arrears, including over VND60 billion ($2.6 million) in value added tax (VAT), over VND359 billion ($15.5 million) in corporate income tax, and nearly VND52 billion ($2.25 million) in taxes levied on foreign contractors.

In addition, Coca-Cola Vietnam will be fined more than VND288.6 billion ($12.5 million) for the late tax payment, overdue since December 16, 2019.

The beverage company is also subject to a fine of more than VND61.6 billion ($2.7 million) for administrative violations.

The firm had previously been told it would be required to complete its payment within ten days of December 25, 2019 and certain measures would be enacted if Coca-Cola Vietnam refused to follow the request.

Addressing the issue in a discussion with Tuoi Tre, Peeyush Sharma, CEO of Coca-Cola Vietnam, stated that the company's business activities are always conducted with honesty, transparency, and absolute compliance with Vietnamese laws.

According to Sharma, between March 2017 and March 2019, the General Department of Taxation launched an audit of the company’s tax documents from 2007 to 2015.

During the inspection, Coca-Cola Vietnam realized that the firm had made some “small mistakes.”

The company told the tax department that it would work with them to ensure it was all paid up, Sharma said.

However, Coca-Cola Vietnam had only paid VND38.254 billion ($1.65 million) by January 3, according the Ho Chi Minh City tax department.

Moreover, the March 2017-December 2019 inspection also cut Coca-Cola Vietnam’s losses during the period by VND762 billion ($32.9 million), according to the General Department of Taxation.

More than VND202.3 billion ($8.73 million) of losses from the 2002-2006 period was also wrongly carried forward into the 2007-2015 period.

Meanwhile, deductible VAT brought forward since December 2015 was reduced by more than VND72.8 billion ($3.14 million) after the inspection.

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