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Facebook shop owners dodge request from Ho Chi Minh City tax authorities

Monday, June 05, 2017, 17:03 GMT+7

Nearly 13,500 Facebook users running online shops have been requested to meet with tax authorities in Ho Chi Minh City and explain their obligations.

Local tax offices have sent invitations to the owners of Facebook shops to meet and discuss new regulations regarding tax duties for online business operators.

However, the majority have failed to show up for their appointments.

According to Nguyen Van Dung, head of the Tax Office in District 1, a total of eight businesses in the neighborhood have been invited, but zero have turned up.

On further investigation it was revealed that the addresses of the shops were all fake, Dung said, adding that they had registered at locations in District 1, but the real venues were actually in District 8.

Some simply told the authorities that their store had shut down, he continued.

The office of taxation in Binh Thanh District has also come up against a similar situation.

“Most stated on the phone that they had just opened their businesses, meaning that current revenue was not considerable,” the leader of the agency elaborated.

“We tried to explain that operators of online shops now have to complete tax registrations,” he said.

If a shop owner fails to comply with a request multiple times, tax officers will conduct an inspection at their business facility immediately, the official said.

According to Le Thi Thu Huong, deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Taxation, a total of 13,469 owners of Facebook shops have been invited to a meeting to be updated on new regulations.

Only those who accumulate over VND100 million (US$4,398) in sales are subject to tax obligations, Huong explained.

Despite this, owners of all online outlets need to attend a meeting with tax authorities, she said.

Measures will be applied to make sure business owners' tax duties are fulfilled, Huong stated, adding that tarrifs will be based on the actual earnings of any business.

Another official from the municipal tax department confirmed that authorities’ inspection will rely on records of transactions and delivery services of the shops.

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