Individual - Income determination

Last reviewed - 31 January 2020

Employment income

The definition of taxable employment income is broad and includes all cash remuneration and benefits-in-kind. However, various items are not subject to tax, including:

  • Payments for telephone charges and stationery costs.
  • Payments for business trips.
  • Overtime premium (i.e. the additional payment above the normal wage, not the full amount of the overtime/night shift payment).
  • One-off allowance for relocation (i) from Vietnam for Vietnamese working overseas, (ii) to Vietnam for expatriates working in Vietnam, and (iii) to Vietnam for Vietnamese residing overseas on a long-term basis and returning to Vietnam to work.
  • Daily commute for employees from home to workplace and vice versa.
  • Once per year home leave round trip airfare for expatriate employees and Vietnamese working overseas.
  • School fees up to high school in Vietnam/overseas for children of expatriates/Vietnamese working overseas.
  • Training.
  • Mid-shift meals, lunch (subject to a cap if paid in cash).
  • Certain benefits in kind provided on a collective basis (e.g. membership fee, entertainment, healthcare, group transportation to and from work).
  • Airfares for employees working on a rotation basis in a number of industries (e.g. petroleum, mining).
  • Employer’s contributions to local and overseas non-mandatory insurance scheme without pay-out of accumulated premiums to the employees (such as medical insurance, accident insurance, etc.).
  • Certain allowances/benefits paid by an employer for special occasions, such as wedding and funeral (subject to a cap).

Conditions and restrictions are applicable to the above exemptions.

The taxable value of employer-provided accommodation (including associated utilities and service charges under the house lease) is limited to 15% of total gross taxable income (excluding the taxable housing, utilities, and service charges) if this is less than the actual housing cost.

Statutory SI, HI, and UI employer contributions do not constitute a taxable benefit to the employee.

Equity compensation

Share awards and stock options are subject to tax upon sale. At the time of sale, two taxable events occurs (i) progressive tax rates on the value recorded in the accounting book of the employer and (ii) 0.1% of the sales proceeds.

Non-employment income

The following income earned by individuals is taxable under the PIT regulations:

  • Income from business.
  • Income from capital investment.
  • Income from sale of shares.
  • Income from transfer of properties.
  • Income from winning prizes/gifts in excess of VND 10 million (excluding income from casino winning prizes).
  • Income from copyright.
  • Income from franchising/royalties.
  • Income from receiving inheritances.

Non-employment income is taxed separately at rates different from those applicable to employment income (see the Taxes on personal income section).

Exempt income

Non-taxable income also includes:

  • Interest earned on deposits with credit institutions/banks and on life insurance policies.
  • Compensation paid under life/non-life insurance policies.
  • Retirement pensions paid under the SI law (or the foreign equivalent).
  • Income from the transfer of properties between various direct family members.
  • Inheritances/gifts between various direct family members.
  • Monthly retirement pensions paid under voluntary insurance schemes.