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Social distancing ‘shutdown’ & tax deferrals in response to COVID-19.

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Social distancing ‘shutdown’ & tax deferrals in response to COVID-19

We discuss the Vietnamese Government’s requirements for Social Distancing and general “Shutdown” effective 1 April 2020 as it applies to businesses, along with updates for Tax Deferrals in Vietnam as likely to be enacted in coming days.

Social distancing

The Vietnamese Prime Minister has issued a decision to implement stricter Social Distancing in Vietnam, effective from 1 April to 15 April 2020, encouraging people to stay at home across Vietnam. The effects of this requirement include:

  • No more than 2 people gathering together in public, and maintaining a safe distance of at least 2 metres,
  • Only essential businesses are to be open (supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, etc), along with factories for production,
  • Public transport is essentially suspended,
  • People are otherwise encouraged to stay home.

The Government has reaffirmed that this is not a “lockdown”, but a directive to encourage people to follow the above for the benefit of social order. However, at the same time they reserved the right to implement more specific compulsory directions should any be necessary.

At Acclime, we have moved to a full “Work from Home” policy for all staff, in line with Government directives. Staff are still working to support clients as normal, although with some limitations arising with lodgements and external interactions. We look forward to continuing to support clients with their ongoing needs during this difficult time, and please reach out to our team across Vietnam with any questions or issues you may be facing.

Tax deferrals – updates with latest draft package

A final draft of a Tax Deferral package has been submitted to the Prime Minister for formal approval, and we expect this to be approved imminently. The General Department of Taxation issued Official Letter 1037/TCT-CS to tax offices around the country to summarise the incentives. This applies to selected taxpayers/industries as indicated below, with highlights including:

1. Deadlines for CIT payments:

Companies will be able to defer the their 2019 final CIT payment (due at the end of March 2019) for 5 months, and will also be able to defer their 2020 Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 CIT provisional payments for 5 months from their existing due dates.

2. Deadlines for VAT Payments

Taxpayers can defer VAT payments, so that Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 payments can be deferred for 5 months (for quarterly payers), and March, April, May and June 2020 payments can also be deferred for 5 months for (monthly payers). Note that lodgements are still required to be performed on time.

3. Applicable Taxpayers

  1. Those involved in production activities covering:
    1. agricultural, forestry (and related services) and fisheries sectors;
    2. production and processing of food, textile & garments, and footwear;
    3. production of rubber products;
    4. production of electronic products, computers and optical products; and
    5. automobile manufacturing (except for cars with nine seats or fewer).
  2. Those operating in service sectors covering:
    1. transport sectors (railway, road, waterway, aviation, warehousing and supporting activities for transportation);
    2. accommodation and catering services;
    3. travel agents, tour businesses and support services related to tour promotion and organization;
    4. training and education;
    5. medical and social assistance activities;
    6. artists, recreational activities, sport activities, gardens, zoos, amusement parks, and theme parks.
  3. Small and micro enterprises defined by regulations of the Law on Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (which generally indicates that enterprises with annual revenue less than VND50 billion and less than 100 employees will be eligible).
Last updated on November 12, 2020

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