The tax burden

"Tax police" is a concept proposed a few years ago, by the General Department of Taxation, addressed to our country's legislatures. The representative of this agency then shared with me that this team will be in charge of the monitoring, investigation and after having sufficient evidence, has the right to prosecute tax evasion. Taxation sector developed this proposal after referring to experiences from some countries.

But this proposal was not agreed and so few people remember. Tax evasion, a criminal offense, is still investigated and prosecuted by the Economic Police Bureau of the police.

In some countries, "tax police" have a specific duty, investigation profession is very specific and specific. This team is powerful because they can take the defendant straight to court and can go to jail without a third party. In Vietnam, the amount of tax evasion has never been publicly and officially estimated. At the end of last year, the Ministry of Finance reported a total debt of VND 74,912 billion. The agency "strives for total tax debt as of December 31, 2018, not exceeding 5% of total annual budget revenue".

That is a huge number. "Tax debt" means not lost, because there is an address and can be claimed, but the money lost due to tax evasion, we do not know and lack the mechanism to reclaim. In estimation, the amount of tax evasion annually is not smaller than the other tax debt.

The Ministry of Finance last week held a press conference on the Law on Property Tax with the goal of "collecting more than VND 30,000 billion for the budget". I thought, if we collect the right amount, collect the full amount of tax debt and reduce the case of tax evasion, the budget will naturally have tens of thousands of billion more already, as it should have.

But of course, even if the budget earns tens of thousands of billion dong, the State can still introduce new tax laws, but the Property Tax here is an example. Because tax, returning to its true mission, is a tool of social management and operation of the State.

But from my observations of policy communication and public opinion, there are a few things to keep in mind in this story:

First, it is necessary to affirm that the Property Tax here is a new tax. Houses attached to land and houses were considered as a type of real estate, but since the land use tax had already been collected, the Ministry of Finance now wanted to tax the house as an independent object of the land. And besides the house, this bill also taxes a number of other assets such as cars, airplanes, yachts, production materials ... This is a direct tax on the property owner.

Second, many questions related to this tax need to be clarified by the Ministry of Finance. From the perspective of the object that is directly affected by the money of citizens and businesses, they need to know more details, tax rate of 0.4% based on what basis? Who will implement the valuation process, how to set the price, valuation tools, tax calculation, tax collection, ... Not to mention houses, cars, planes, boats, they are all "consumer products". - price reduction over time of use even when land price increases. So what is the standard for anchoring those assets? 3 or 5 years will adjust, how to adjust? The basic information gaps need to be very clear to the people.

Thirdly, the tax functions such as generating revenue for the budget, serving the operation of the state apparatus, ensuring national security and defense, providing social welfare and public services, regulating income; along with the tax principles to be followed such as fairness, equality and efficiency in the case of how and how will Property taxes be implemented? For example, will this tax regulate the income, consumption behavior of the owner of the "golden chicken 6 villa" and who is only having a torn house? Both, do they live better and feel fairer?

The way to publish information in a "throwing bomb" on a tax affecting tens of millions of people like the Property tax is lacking thorough preparation, lack of analysis and convincing arguments from many angles. Especially, from the perspective of those affected by the policy, it inevitably causes surprises, surprises for public opinion, even negative reactions from the people.

Tax is an unpopular word, so it is also called the tax burden. No one likes the "burden" at all, they just accept whether it makes sense or not. People and businesses, if forced to take that burden, they need to be explained why, it is fair to all parties rather than listening to the familiar chorus of "taxed countries" so me too. One-sided arguments, imposing, not causing discontent are strange.

The story of taxation or not is not as important as the taxation. How to collect taxes, in fact, it also tells how to spend.

Recently, the French government has just increased the personal income tax rate to 75%, in millions, the billionaire has planned to move to neighboring Luxembourg. It is another side of the tax that no country expects.

Vu Dinh Anh