According to Certificate 357/VAQ07-01/08 on quality, safety and environmental protection granted by the Ministry of Transport’s Vietnam Register, the Chevrolet Spark is a van, not a pick-up which can be used to carry both goods and passengers, and is subject to an ownership tax (OT) rate of 10-20 per cent.
Referring to Ministry of Finance (MoF) Circular 124/2011/TT-BTC dated August 31, 2008 guiding Decree 45/2011/ND-CP on ownership tax and Circular 68/2010/TT-BTC dated October 26, 2010 on property registration fees and other relevant regulations, Chevrolet Spark is a van with only one row of two seats – one for the driver and one for his assistant.
The company said this meant the van was immune from special consumption tax and should enjoy an OT rate of 2 per cent.
GM claims it has asked the General Department of Taxation (GDT) to resolve this issue three times since last October. “They [the MoF and GDT] seem to ignore our proposal. This means that we are suffering greater losses,” said a GM source.
Meanwhile, sources from the Policy Section under the GDT told VIR that they were still considering GM’s request that the MoF and GDT release a document establishing that the OT rate Chevrolet Spark vans was 2 per cent
“We recently sent the proposal to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) for consideration. If the MoIT backs the proposal, we will consider and then answer GM,” said the section’s vice head Dang Minh Sam. He added he did not have a timeframe for the MoIT response.
GM said many local taxation departments had “misunderstood” that this van was actually a pick-up. Thus, they have since September last year either stopped the collection of the TO rate of 2 per cent for this type of van while waiting for instructions from the GDT or asked Chevrolet Spark van buyers to pay the OT rate of 10–20 per cent applied to the pick-up.
“Consequently, while we are facing difficulties in the manufacturing of these vans, many customers who have already bought this type of van have complained to GM for these reasons. They have even asked us to take back the vans and refund their money,” the GM source said. On November 15 last year the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) also sent Document 3311 to the MoF asking it to revise OT regulations for pick-up vehicles.
The document stated under Vietnam national standard TCVN 7271 on classification of means of transportation, there were two types of pick-up vehicles - goods-carrying and passenger-carrying. These standards were the basis for imposing the relevant OT rates. However, in Circular 124, pick-ups were included in the under-10-seater vehicle category. Therefore, the OT rate for pick-ups was higher – at 10-20 per cent.
“The MoF should make more detailed guidance to distinguish the OT rate for the two types of pick-ups, based on national standards issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology, to fit the purposes of current tax policy,” the VAMA document said.
Thanh Thu (vir.com.vn)