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The arduous process of recovering import tax debt - Lesson 1: The business ran away, missing - Customs 'hug' debt

08:43 | 08/07/2018

VCN- Over the past years, the Customs tax administration system still hangs with the irrecoverable debts of missing enterprises that fled business registration addresses more than 10 years ago.

the arduous process of recovering import tax debt lesson 1 the business ran away missing customs hug debt
Professional activities at Hai Phong Customs. Picture: T.Bình.

Importing goods and then missing

According to statistics of the General Department of Customs, by the end of May, the total tax debts of the whole sector were VND 5,480.87 billion, of which bad debt was VND 3,881.07 billion, accounting for 70.8% of the total tax debt. Around this debt is the comedy story about the tax debt companies fled, missing; On the difficult journey of the customs office in the process of recovering tax debts and handling debt ...

According to this issue, the Customs Newspaper published a series of tax debt recovery situations in some customs units with large outstanding debts in order to delineate an overall picture of the tax debt that the customs sector is responsible for monitoring and handling.

At the Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh City, there are many enterprises with debts up to tens of billions having gone missing. Pham Van Hong, deputy head of the HCM City Customs Department, said that by the end of May 2018, the total tax debts under the management unit were over VND 1,532,444 billion of 1,755 enterprises. There are big debts, such as: Silver Star Vietnam Co., Ltd., that owes more than 47 billion; Saigon Port Import and Export Service Joint Stock Company owes more than 33 billion; Hoan Cau Foam Paper Company Limited debts 23 billion ...

According to the Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh City, out of more than VND 1,532.444 billion of bad debts, more than 1,000 billion tax debts are of enterprises that have escaped, missing; VND 55 billion of the enterprise's debt has been dissolved or bankrupted; VND 66 billion tax debt of businesses are investigated for prosecution. Only VND 36 billion is pending tax exemption as stipulated in the Ministry of Finance's Circular 179/2013 / TT-BTC dated 2/12/2013.

The reporter searched for products belonging to companies owing high tax debts in the warehouse. A tax official from the HCM City Customs Department said that all the cases had been collected and they have looked for the companies for many years, even decades, but there are still no results.

Among the non-taxable enterprises, it is noticeable that Silver Star Vietnam Co., Ltd., (Binh Chanh District, HCM City) which owed a tax of VND 47.7 billion in 2008, has fled the business registration address.

By the end of November 2007, this company registered at the Customs Sub-department managing the investment to implement the contract processing for 1.4 million pairs of shoes and sports shoes, the duration of the contract was for a year. During the implementation of the contract, Silver Star Vietnam Co., Ltd., carried out more than 470 import and export declarations. As of November 2008, the company had not fulfilled the contractual term, the contract expired and the company did not liquidate the contract, meaning that the amount of raw materials and auxiliary import materials had not been determined and the value of imported raw materials had not yet been determined for export. Sub-departments carried out liquidity supervision, sent officials to verify in the local government, and it was found that this company no longer operated at the business registration address. By verifying at the immigration management agency they discovered the director of the foreign enterprise had returned home.

Not as much as the 1,400 billion tax debt in Customs of Ho Chi Minh City, Customs Department of Hai Phong is also monitoring and handling tax debts up to 995 billion of 1,527 businesses. This tax debt falls into difficult situations to recover for many reasons, but especially for the cases where the taxpayers have fled and are missing.

In the total of bad debts in the unit, there are VND 922 billion belonging to 1256 enterprises, springing from the 7th of July, 2013, accounting for 93% of bad debts. For example, in the group "Taxpayers' debts are absent or missing at the registered address, suspension and suspension of business activities" at the Customs Department of Hai Phong, there are the following cases: Vinashin Import-Export Company with tax code: 0100113303011) fixed assets shipbuilding production from 2006 to 2009 with the amount of 54 billion; Hachimex Trading Joint Stock Co with tax code: 0200139129 the imported raw sugar from Thailand in 2005, 2006 with the amount of 9.84 billion dong; United States Limited with tax code: 0200457227 fixed debt of glass items incurred in 2004 with the amount of 8 billion ...

Similarly, at the Lang Son Customs Department, a number of "ghost" companies have foreign fugitives leaving large amounts of tax debt. Typically, the case of Mong Phong Electronic Science and Technology Co., Ltd., Bac Giang province - Vietnam, has long since left its jurisdiction, so it is impossible for the competent authority to enforce import tax debt and VAT of over VND 1.7 billion, or as in the case of Duc Tra Co., although the management agency has revoked the business registration certificate, during its validity period this company still owes taxes for imports worth nearly 8,5 VND billion; Nhat Cuong Co., Ltd., owed nearly VND 336 million ... Lang Son Customs Department has coordinated with Lang Son Police to urge the recovery of debt. All these companies have stopped operating, some employed people as directors and they do not know who the business owner really is, while others are committed to repaying the debt.

Representatives of Ba Ria - Vung Tau Customs Department said that in 81 enterprises that are subject of bad tax debts to be collected at the unit, 53 companies have either fled, missing, no business at the registration address, or have stopped and suspended business.

Most of the customs offices in the provinces and cities across the country more or less "hug" a bad debt from year to year from those enterprises that have escaped and missing.

the arduous process of recovering import tax debt lesson 1 the business ran away missing customs hug debt
Many documents of collecting tax debts of the customs office are returned due to missing or missing from the registered business address. Photo material: Thai Binh.

Where does debt come from?

According to representatives of the Department of Import-Export Tax (General Department of Customs), the majority of bad debts in the customs of provinces and cities were from before 1 July 2013. This was the time when enterprises still had debt or tax grace for exporting goods in accordance with the Law on Tax Administration. Taking advantage of favorable policies and mechanisms, after enterprises imported goods, they fled the business registration address or dissolved to establish new enterprises. On the other hand, some enterprises that owed tax, although they were still operating, were unable to pay debts due to business losses, financial difficulties, assets were bought through mortgages. Some companies which owe tax from long ago (from 10 years to 20 years) no longer exist in the tax administration system and are not eligible for debt relief.

The most difficult thing to do for customs offices is still the kinds of debts that are difficult to collect, including: Debts of dissolved enterprises, debts of enterprises that have gone bankrupt, debts of taxpayers related to criminal liability, the debt of the taxpayer who lodges a complaint or initiates a lawsuit and has not yet submitted under the decision on collection and tax assessment of the competent authority; debts of enterprises that no longer operate production and business at the place of business registration; suspension and suspension of business activities.

It can be seen that since the Law Amending and Supplementing a number of articles of Law on Tax Administration came into force from July 1, 2013, businesses no longer owe tax, because they have to pay taxes as soon as goods are cleared through customs (Enterprises only have tax debts when guaranteed by credit institutions), This law has helped the customs sector to reduce its tax liabilities and it does not incur new liabilities. Therefore, the current tax debt of the Customs sector is mainly old debts remaining before the Law on Tax Administration came into effect and the fixed debt of tax assessment from post-clearance inspection.

Currently, the tax debts of the customs are divided into 3 groups: Debt collection group; bad debt with difficult collection; Debts of awaiting deletion, exemption, reduction, freezing and extension. In debt management, the customs authorities have also defined criteria for loan classification according to specific debt groups, steps for debt classification and compilation of tax payer records.

As of 30/5/2018, overdue receivables for clearing customs clearance of the entire industry are VND5,244.9 billion, down 50.50 billion compared to figures of December 2014 (5,295 , 39 billion), equivalent to 0.95% reduction.

(Lesson 2: Tracking Debt Businesses)

By Thái Bình - Thu Trang - Thu Hòa- Hồng Nụ/ Bui Diep