This December 2023 publication of our Tax and Accounting Updates focuses on reminder for 2023 year-end lodgements and finalisations, approval on applying the Global Minimum Tax from 1 January 2024, notice from the Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs to businesses in Ho Chi Minh City on the submission of Reports on Labour and Salary in 2023 and the plan for Tet bonuses in 2024 and our regular review of recent Official Letters released by the tax authorities.
Reminder: 2023 Year-end Lodgements and finalisations
Corporate taxpayers are reminded that they are required to finalise and lodge 2023 Financial Statements, 2023 Tax Finalisation returns, and associated schedules/appendixes with the authorities no later than the last day of the third month of the following year after year end (31 March 2023, for those taxpayers with a standard 31 December financial year end). For foreign-invested entities, the financial statements are required to be audited before lodgement together with the income tax returns, so it is critical that audit and tax finalisation plans are well underway for Vietnamese enterprises.
Individual taxpayers should also ensure that their tax finalisation matters for 2023 are in hand, where (generally) (i) they have a tax liability to the state, or (ii) they wish to claim a refund or credit.
Taxpayers can authorise their employers to finalise on their behalf where the taxpayer has had only one single source of employment income during the tax year.
Otherwise, they need to undertake a self-finalisation or authorise another party (commonly a service provider or another individual) to conduct on their behalf. In this case, the finalisation returns are required to be lodged by the end date of the fourth month of the following year from year-end (i.e., by 30 April 2024).
Applying the Global Minimum Tax from 1 January 2024
On 29 November 2023, the Vietnam National Assembly approved the Resolution on the Global Minimum Tax policy in Vietnam, taking effect from 1 January 2024.
This aims to ensure that multinational corporations pay at least 15% effective tax rate on their profits in each jurisdiction where they operate. The policy is implemented by the OECD’s Global Anti-Base Erosion (GloBE) or Pillar 2 rules, which consist of two main rules:
- The Qualified Domestic Minimum Top-up Tax (QDMTT) rule targets foreign inbound investment, meaning that Vietnamese subsidiaries of multinational corporations whose foreign ultimate parent entity has revenue of at least EUR 750 million will have to pay a top-up tax if their group effective tax rate in Vietnam is lower than 15%.
- The Income Inclusion Rule (IIR) rule targets Vietnam’s outbound investment, meaning that Vietnamese parent or intermediate companies that own (directly or indirectly) a low-taxed subsidiary abroad will have to pay tax on their share of the top-up tax of that subsidiary.
We are awaiting the release of implementing regulations for more information on applying this policy.
Notice to businesses in Ho Chi Minh City on the submission of Reports on Labour and Salary in 2023 and the plan for Tet bonuses in 2024
On 4 December 2023, the Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs issued Official Letter 27634/SLDTBXH-LD concerning reports on labour and salary situation in 2023 and the 2024 Tet bonus plan.
This document requires businesses in Ho Chi Minh City to report on the 2023 salary payment and the 2024 New Year bonus plan (according to the form attached to the Official Letter) before 22 December 2023.
At the same time, businesses must plan and announce the New Year bonus levels for 2023 (including allowances, ticket support, train tickets to Tet …) for employees to create peace of mind, and to focus on production and business. Information includes the specific publication of the time of paying salary and bonuses, and Tet holiday time.
The Department of Labour also noted that the enterprise must ensure that salary and bonus payments are undertaken fully and timely as published according to the announced plan, avoiding salary and bonus debts leading to the risk of labour disputes. Where enterprises have difficulties paying salaries and Tet bonuses, they should inform and discuss with the grassroots Trade Union and report to the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, and the District Labour Union to coordinate and support.
Regarding the Lunar New Year holiday schedule, enterprises must ensure compliance with the provisions of Points b, Clause 1 and Clause 3, Article 112 of the Labour Code. If combined with the Lunar New Year with annual leave, it must be agreed, with the consent of employees and publicised before implementation.
Official Letters Released
Official Letters are releases showing the Tax and other Authorities’ interpretation and application of Vietnam’s Taxation Laws, providing guidance to taxpayers in Vietnam.
Notes when carrying out procedures for liquidation of tax-free imported goods
On 12 October 2023, the General Department of Customs released Official Letter 5297/TCHQ-GSQL on the liquidation of imported goods. Accordingly, enterprises carry out procedures at the customs office where the list of tax-free imported goods is registered.
In addition, when carrying out procedures for liquidation or change of use purpose according to Point c.1, Clause 3, Article 85 of Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC, enterprises must have a document clearly stating the reason for liquidation or replacement or change of use purpose and send it to the Customs Sub-Department where the declaration of change of use purpose is registered and the Customs Sub-Department where the tax-free goods import declaration has been registered.
This Official Letter replaced Official Letter 6233/TCHQ-GSQL dated 22 September 2017.
Taxes and rental payments must be grossed up when calculating Personal Income Tax
In respect of issues with converting income from NET salary to calculate Personal Income Tax (PIT), on 24 November 2023, the General Department of Taxation issued the Official Letter 5250/TCT-DNNCN.
Accordingly, where a foreign employee, who signed a labour contract with a company, received a net salary and had the company pay Health Insurance, housing rental and PIT on their behalf, notes for determining the assessable income for PIT calculation are:
- Health Insurance allowances paid on behalf of the company are the income, which is added and excluded simultaneously in the conversion formula as health insurance is deducted.
- Housing rental is added according to the actual amount paid but must not exceed 15% of total taxable income.
Unemployment Insurance payment period exceeding 12 years not considered a subsidy and not reserved
On 17 October 2023, the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) released Official Letter 4379/LDTBXH-VL on preserving the Unemployment Insurance (UI) payment period of over 144 months.
According to Clause 2, Article 50 of the Law on Employment, where employees have paid UI for more than 144 months, they are only entitled to unemployment benefits at the maximum level of 12 months (corresponding to 144 months of Insurance payment) and there is no reservation for the remaining UI payment period (exceeding 144 months).
Where an employee is stopped receiving unemployment benefits but has the UI payment time reserved, the UI payment time is reserved only on the basis of 144 months of payment to receive benefits (no reservation for the UI payment period over 144 months) and the UI payment period corresponding to the time the employee has received benefits.
Cases with a UI payment period of over 144 months that have been resolved to enjoy benefits from 1 January 2021 but with UI payment period of over 144 months that are reserved, must review and reduce the reservation for the period of the UI payment period over 144 months.
For more information on tax updates and other compliance requirements for businesses operating in Vietnam, follow our monthly releases on the website and social media channels at vietnam.acclime.com.