VCN – Taking advantage of the e-commerce market, people have intentionally mixed fake and poor quality goods to sell on websites, e-commerce exchanges and social networks. This is not only harming consumers but also causing loss of revenue to the state budget.
Many violations through e-commerce
Along with the development of information technology and telecommunications networks, which resonates in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce is increasingly developing and becoming an essential activity to gradually replace traditional commercial activities. E-commerce brings convenience to consumers, reducing the risks related to cash, being able to sit in one place and buy and sell goods in many other places. However, some people take advantage of e-commerce to commit illegal activities. Specifically, mixing fake and poor quality goods to sell on websites, e-commerce exchanges and social network accounts.
According to Deputy Head of Division 6, Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention (A05, Ministry of Public Security), Nguyen Huy Luc, the acts of breaking the law in smuggling, counterfeiting and trade fraud activities in cyberspace is carried out in many ways, directly infringing the order of import and export activities management; infringing copyrights, industrial property rights, legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals, etc.
The law-breaking acts are anonymous, easy to forge, change and conceal personal identity; easy to erase, change evidence to conceal criminal acts, deal with authorities, with no differences in boundaries and areas. People may stay in one location to conduct smuggling but trade in counterfeit goods and trade fraud take place in another location.
In the field of tax administration, Deputy Director of Tax audit – Inspection Department, General Department of Taxation Nguyen Tien Trung said a common violation in e-commerce business was that they did not have a permanent establishment in Vietnam to avoid tax management from Vietnamese tax authorities; generating income from business activities in Vietnam but failing to register, declare and pay tax as stipulated in the provisions of Vietnamese tax law. Besides that, some people also established legal entities in tax havens, countries that have signed agreements to avoid double taxation with Vietnam in order to avoid taxes; making inaccurate declarations of addresses in foreign countries causing difficulties for Vietnamese tax authorities to contact them and verify.
Need close coordination
According to Mr. Nguyen Tien Trung, the General Department of Taxation has directed the whole sector to strengthen the implementation of measures to improve the efficiency of tax administration, tax inspection and examination for this type of e-commerce business. For example, actively coordinate with competent forces at all levels (including police of communes, wards and townships), commercial banks, telecommunications companies, and companies operating in the field of information technology, transmission, providing network infrastructure to fully update the information of organizations and individuals engaged in e-commerce activities. At the same time, collecting tax arrears for organizations and individuals that operate online businesses without declaring them to the tax authority. Along with that, proactively share and provide information to relevant agencies about organizations and individuals that show signs of violating the law in e-commerce activities to cooperate and timely handle them.
In order to handle violations in the field of smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods in cyberspace, Nguyen Huy Luc said that the competent forces should have close coordination between units that are assigned to perform tasks of preventing and combating illegal acts in the field of smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeit goods in cyberspace (A05, C03 – Ministry of Public Security and local Public Security, Market Surveillance, Vietnam Competition Authority, Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency – Ministry of Industry and Trade; Tax Administration, Customs). Accordingly, the coordination needs to develop a detailed plan, clearly assign roles and responsibilities of each force involved in investigation and handling.
“The Market Surveillance force discovered a store showing signs of trading counterfeit goods and had a website and social network account to trade similar products. In order to have a basis to specifically identify websites and social network accounts related to this store, they need to coordinate with A05, thereby assisting in verifying and clarifying information of website managers and social network account owners. At the same time, coordinating with the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency to verify the registration of e-commerce business,” Nguyen Huy Luc said.
By Quang Hùng/Thanh Thuy