Sabeco opposes HCM City taxman’s debt coercion decision

04-Jan-2019 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) has objected to a decision by the HCM City Tax Department to coerce VND3.14 trillion (US$135.4 million) in a special consumption tax and fines for violations of tax laws, as the decision goes against the 2006 Law on Tax Administration, said Sabeco general director Neo Gim Siong Bennett.

Under the law, tax debts will be collected if they are longer than 90 days overdue, while the deadline for Sabeco to fulfill their tax obligations was December 27, 2018.

In addition, tax authorities can coercively collect the tax arrears in case tax debtors have yet to pay their tax arrears, while the extension of their payment deadline is no longer valid, or if tax debtors seek to flee.

On December 24, the HCM City Tax Department announced that Sabeco must pay VND3.14 trillion in special consumption tax and fines, in accordance with the conclusion on Sabeco’s violations of the government Inspectorate.

On December 30, Sabeco sent a document to the State Securities Commission and the Hochiminh Stock Exchange stating that the HCM City Tax Department had sought the amount from the firm on December 28.

Bennett, however, said the firm had consulted an independent legal consultant and concluded that the taxman’s decision runs contrary to the law.

Sabeco opposes the tax agency’s tax demands and will take measures to protect its legitimate rights, Bennett added.

A source told the Saigon Times that a senior official of the Ministry of Finance ordered the collection of the tax debt at a meeting in HCM City.

Meanwhile, Le Minh Duy, deputy director of the HCM City Tax Department, said that seeking the collection of Sabeco’s tax debt is in line with the law and the conclusions of the government Inspectorate, the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) and inspectors of the Ministry of Finance and the general Department of Taxation, adding that the department had discussed the matter with the legal representative of the firm on December 21 before making the decision, according to Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper.

At the meeting with Sabeco’s legal representative, the department announced the deadline for the firm to pay the tax arrears and fines.

Responding to Sabeco’s objections to the department’s decision, it was noted that the prime minister has yet to reach his conclusion, and there has been no decision regarding the administrative punishment for the firm. Further, Minh said the department has no jurisdiction to impose the punishment on Sabeco, but the government and SAV had reached their conclusions regarding Sabeco’s violations. The firm has been aware of these conclusions, since they had been publicised earlier.

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Category: Business, Vietnam

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