Operators of Facebook stores in Ho Chi Minh City have been told to submit taxes to the municipal industry and trade department.
In an effort to reduce tax losses, the city administration and several departments and agencies have discussed ways of taxing online traders, especially Vietnam Facebook stores.
Pham Thanh Kien, director of the Industry and Trade Department, confirmed the boom in e-commerce in Ho Chi Minh City during the past three years.
“There are now 80,000 e-commerce websites registered in the city, half of which run stable operations,” Kien said.
Along with that, many people use Facebook to advertise and sell their products without submitting any kind of taxes to the authority.
Admitting it is difficult to oversee the revenues of these businesses, Kien suggests the administration working with Facebook in monitoring the revenues from sales via this social network.
His suggestion includes overseeing the transactions of the ‘shop section’ that the seller is allowed to set to directly sell their products, and charging sellers any tax.
However, Tran Ngoc Tam, head of Ho Chi Minh City’s Tax Department said it is not easy to tax online traders or Facebook stores due to locals’ habit of using cash.
“This makes it difficult for tax agencies to know the exact revenue of the online traders, even when they have all papers and receipts for those transactions,” Tam said.
He said tax authorities can start inspecting these online shops and find a way to verify the scale of their revenue and profit.
Apart from Facebook, online traders on other platforms such as Zalo and Instagram are also being targeted.