Chinese tourists evading tax

September 07, 2018 | 10:28
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Chinese tourists are reportedly avoiding paying tax in Viet Nam, with the help of tourism companies.
chinese tourists evading tax
Solutions will be taken to better manage the payment via Alipay and Wechatpay. - VNA/VNS Photo

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has directed ministries to tighten payments performed on point of sale (POS) systems and e-wallets to tackle illegal transactions and tax evasion.

The move was made after local media reports of some Chinese-owned shops in Viet Nam using unauthorised Chinese-issued payment POS machines to accept Chinese cards and QR-code payment from Chinese tourists in Viet Nam, raising concerns about unauthorised foreign currency payments and tax losses involving Chinese tourists.

The People’s Committee of Khanh Hoa Province last month sent an urgent letter to the Government Office asking for solutions to manage e-payments, saying there were signs of law infringement when Chinese tourists paid with Chinese yuan, or used certain POS and QR codes via smartphones, reported.

It was difficult to control these payment methods as there are no invoices when tourists use QR codes, the letter said, adding that identifying which POS devices are illegal is difficult.

Under the directive, Deputy PM Hue required the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) to intensify unannounced inspections of establishments which serve foreign tourists. The agency must strictly handle violations in payment of foreign currencies in Viet Nam.

He also ordered the SBV to study international financial regulations and devise solutions to better manage payments via POS and e-wallets including Alipay and Wechatpay, while the Ministry of Finance was directed to establish a legal framework to tax such payments.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade was instructed to direct local market management departments to enhance the inspection of shopping centres and shops that sell goods to foreign tourists to ensure meeting legal regulations on listing of origin, price and quantity of goods.

Under the directive, Hue also ordered the Ministry of Planning and Investment to assess the impact of Chinese ‘zero dollar’ tours on the economy and security, besides urging local authorities to carry out surprise checks of tourism companies, shopping malls and restaurants reportedly involved in ‘zero dollar’ tours and publicly announce the penalties.

Currently, some tourist companies use ‘zero dollar’ tours that allow Chinese tourists to get free accommodation and meals for shopping at ‘Chinese customers only’ stores for prices a considerably higher than market rates.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Viet Nam received 2.5 million Chinese visitors in the first half of this year, up 36 per cent year-on-year.


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