Big C bends to heavy-handed authorities

14:10 | 05/08/2016
Big C Vietnam, representing  its new owner Central Group, committed to finishing the payment of its outstanding tax debt (VND1.534 trillion or $70 million) by the end of this month.

Nguyen Dai Tri, deputy head of the General Department of Taxation (GDT), confirmed to VIR that Big C Vietnam, representing  its new owner Central Group, has paid the first instalment of VND500 billion ($22.83 million) of its transfer tax arrears to the state budget.

According to the GDT, Big C declared its total tax bill to be VND2.034 trillion ($92.88 million), of which VND1.914 trillion ($85.84 million) is tax incurred from the transfer of Big C Vietnam chain to Thai Central Group last April. The remaining VND120 trillion ($5.48 million) is tax incurred from business activities in 2008.

“Big C committed to finishing the payment of its outstanding tax debt (VND1.534 trillion or $70 million) by the end of this month,” said Tri, noting that the grant period is acceptable due to the huge amount to be transferred from Thailand.

Upon the GDT’s continuous requests, on June 13, Big C Vietnam submitted a document, informing the body that it has successfully notified the transferor Casino Group and the acquirer Central Group of the tax sum incurred.

The local tax authorities said that due to the unclear terms and conditions of the transfer deal, it took a while for Casino Group and Central Group to negotiate their tax obligations.

On April 29, Casino Group announced the transfer of the Big C Vietnam chain to the Thai conglomerate for approximately $1.1 billion.

Various measures were applied by the GDT to collect the aforementioned tax sum, with dedicated co-operation from other authorities.

For instance, on June 25, GDT requested 20 provincial tax agencies where Big C supermarkets operated, informed local departments of Industry and Trade and departments of Planning and Investment, to be vigilant in adjusting the retailer’s business information.

The move was to prevent Big C from having its business license modified, preventing an official change of ownership until it fulfilled its entire tax obligation.

Currently, the tax authorities are also inspecting the retailer’s compliance with tax laws, to check whether  Big C illegally declared the lower tax bill. The inspection is scheduled to finish before August 31, 2016.

“We can only announce Big C’s wrongdoings, if any, once we are finished with the inspection,” said Tri.

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By By Thanh Xuan

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