Vietnam witnessed significant recent developments related to transfer pricing, e-commerce activities, and the application of e-invoices.
On 5 November 2020, the Government issued Decree 132/2020/ND-CP, setting out new rules on transfer pricing in Vietnam applicable for the financial year 2020 onward.
On 9 February 2022, Vietnam signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“the Convention” or “the MLI”), becoming the 99th jurisdiction to join the Convention. As a result, potentially 75 of Vietnam’s double tax agreements (”DTAs”) would be amended once the MLI comes into effect. Taxpayers should be aware of these potential changes to DTAs and the impact this may have on their plans for structuring their investments and transactions to claim treaty benefits in Vietnam.
Taxing e-commerce activities
In September 2021, the MoF officially issued Circular 80/2021/TT-BTC (Circular 80) providing detailed guidance on the Law on Tax Administration on various matters, which also have a chapter focus on the tax filing mechanism for foreign companies doing e-commerce, digital business and other business in Vietnam without a permanent establishment. The General Department of Taxation officially launched the portal (link: https://etaxvn.gdt.gov.vn/nccnn/Request) for direct tax registration, declaration and payments by e-commerce companies in Vietnam on 21 March 2022. The GDT published the names of the foreign companies registering up to November 2022.
The Government also issued Decree 85/2021 setting out new rules on e-commerce detailing obligations of foreign traders that have e-commerce activities in Vietnam and related parties.
Various guidance for the new Law on tax administration
See section E-invoices.
The Government also released Decree 125/2020/ND-CP setting out new rules on penalties for breaches of tax and invoicing regulations, which came into force on 5 December 2020. The decree consolidates guidance from various decrees and circulars on tax and invoicing penalties, while taking into account changes in the new law on tax administration.
The New Tax Admin Law was approved in June 2019 and took effect from 1 July 2020, except for provisions relating to e-invoices and electronic documents, which will be effective from 1 July 2022. New Decree 126/2020 implementing the Tax Admin Law was issued and took effect from 5 December 2020, subject to some transitional rules. As mentioned, Circular 80 guides the implementation of the new Tax Admin Law and Decree 126/2020 has been issued in 2021.
Other key laws
The National Assembly ratified Law No. 45/2019/QH14 amending the Labour Code on 20 November 2019. The amended Code took effect from 1 January 2021.
In addition, the National Assembly ratified the amended Law on Enterprises and the amended Law on Investment in June 2020. The new laws took effect from 1 January 2021 and replaced the existing laws.