The taxman said the number of enterprises reporting taxable income is small, just 21,508 out of 81,592 registered entities, accounting for 26%.

Statistics of the department show that the tax volume recorded in 2012 was VND17.71 trillion, just equivalent to 86.7% of the 2011 amount. The year 2011 saw 23,508 companies reporting taxable income, making up 34%.

In 2012, there were 46,787 enterprises or 57% reporting losses, rising 9.4% against the 2011 figure of 42,451 entities. The loss amounted to some VND43.9 trillion, up 4% over about VND42 trillion lost in 2011.

Some 40,817 tax declaration forms or 17% showed no taxable income. The fact that many local companies had not paid the tax is one of the reasons behind the local tax department’s failure to realize the target, collecting only VND131.28 trillion, or nearly 98% of the target.

As of end-November last year, only 15,043 newly-established businesses had been granted tax codes, the tax department reported. Meanwhile, up to 12,250 firms had stopped operations, with 420 dissolving, 5,273 halting business and 6,556 missing. Tax debts of these entities are VND651 billion and the sum is unrecoverable, the department said.

In addition, thousands of businesses suspending operations have yet to perform procedures to report their status to the department.

The tax authority ascribed the lamentable situation to the fact that business and production activities of local firms have been dreary. The number of new firms is small while the number of inactive companies has been rising due to piling inventories, steep lending rates and poor business efficiency.

Meanwhile, many large State-owned enterprises in 2012 also paid smaller tax sums compared to the same period last year.

Mobile Information Company contributed roughly VND3.45 trillion or equivalent to 85% of the year-ago period’s amount, the Post and Telecom Group paid VND505 billion or 53%, while VietinBank contributed some VND2 trillion or 98.6%.

The local State budget collected VND271 billion (83% of previous year’s figure) from Maritime Bank, VND265 billion (69%) from the Vietnam Television Station, VND60 billion (55%) from Vietnam Air Traffic Management and VND89 billion (63%) from Hanoi Alcohol Beer and Beverage Company.

By Tu Hoang - The Saigon Times Daily - January 3, 2013