Multi-million dollar tax arrears catch up to luxury car importers

A number of luxury car importers in Vietnam have been hit with tax arrears collection notices.

At the end of December 2016, Mercedes-Benz Vietnam (MBV) paid VND101.65 billion ($4.46 million) in tax arrears.

However, the firm continued to submit letters of complaint about its initial tax assessment. 

The Post Clearance Audit Department of Vietnam Customs under the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Ministry of Finance, previously in June 2016, issued a decision of post-clearance audit in MBV’s headquarter. The department then imposed arrears of VND101.65 billion ($4.46 million) on the firm. Right after, MBV submitted an urgent letter asking for reconsideration.

In December 2016, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has requested the provincial and municipal customs departments to allow the company to register and import under customs procedures, as long as they paid 50 per cent of the amount up front and the rest by December 31, 2016.

In December 26, 2016, MBV has paid the whole VND101.65 billion ($4.46 million) and continued to import goods under customs procedures. However, on December 30, 2016, MBV submitted a letter of complaint about the initial tax assessment. 

Tan Thanh Do Auto Corporation (Land Rover and Jaguar dealer in Vietnam) and Regal Motor Car Corporation (official Rolls Royce dealer in Vietnam) found themselves in a similar situation. In November, they were requested to pay additional tax arrears of VND719 billion ($31.56 million) and VND50 billion ($2.19 million), respectively, because they declared a lower value of their imports than the actual price.

Besides, at the end of November 2016, the Ministry of Finance has requested the General Department of Vietnam Customs to suspend customs clearance for imported BMW automobiles (except for the BMWs imported under diplomatic privilege). At the same time, the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department has decided to take Euro Auto Company, the Ho Chi Minh City-based importer of BMW automobiles, to court for failing to supply required documents or supplying fake documents during customs clearance and selling cars before they are cleared at customs.

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By Trang Vu