|Business collection section on Viettel Money’s application. Photo: H.Nu|
The tax collection process under the Scheme “Pilot of electronic tax payment for import and export goods through intermediary payment service providers” will include 6 steps.
Step 1: Taxpayers prepare documents for payment to the state budget on the intermediary payment system.
Step 2: The payment intermediary sends and responds to payment information to the customs system.
Step 3: The intermediary payment organization transfers payment information to the guarantor bank – payment intermediary.
Step 4: The guarantor-payment intermediary transfers payment information to the customs office. At the same time, transfer information about state budget revenue to the State Treasury. The guarantor bank-payment intermediary responds to the payment intermediary with the information sent to the Customs.
Step 5: The customs authority checks the information, debits the accounts, confirms the fulfilment of the taxpayer’s tax obligations, and clears and releases the goods.
Step 6: The State Treasury sends a list of payments to the state budget to the Customs office, and the customs authority updates it into the system and records the revenue with the budget.
Eliminate cash payments
According to the General Department of Customs, since 2012, Customs authorities have connected with information technology systems of commercial banks and the State Treasury to make electronic payments (E-payment).
By the end of 2022, 55 banks and bank branches have cooperated with Customs to collect tax electronically, and the amount collected via electronic method reached 99%. There are 48 banks that coordinate in collecting and implementing electronic tax payments 24/7, and 7 banks implementing the program of electronic tax payment for enterprises through the collection with the General Department of Customs. Out of 48 banks, there are currently 18 foreign banks and branches.
The fact that the Customs sector applies the collection of customs taxes and fees by the method of coordinating collection and deploying 24/7 electronic tax payment and electronic tax payment of enterprises through collection through commercial banks has brought vivid results.
However, according to the General Department of Customs report, there is still a small amount of income from individuals and households when participating in import-export activities that pay in cash, or some units pay cash at the bank that hasn’t used modern means of payment.
According to a representative of the Import-Export Tax Department (General Department of Customs), in the reform trend, the management of budget revenue has been modernized through the coordination of collection with banks by different methods. The participation of intermediary partners in the collection and payment of the budget will help taxpayers to declare tax, pay taxes and clear goods anytime, anywhere, and by any means.
This will also be one of the solutions implemented by the General Department of Customs to reform administrative procedures, increase state budget collection and payment services, contribute to reducing the time for customs clearance of goods further, expanding the state budget collection methods for import and export goods.
Therefore, the pilot scheme to pay taxes through intermediaries aims to develop and increase utilities for taxpayers, helping people and businesses have new payment channels, they can use accounts opened at banks, and intermediary payment service providers to pay taxes, fees and charges for enterprises’ goods online, thereby promoting the habit of electronic and non-cash payment.
Additionally, the pilot will also contribute to the implementation of a project to develop non-cash payments, simultaneously contributing to reducing tax payment time and shortening the time to carry out customs procedures for import and export goods. Primarily, the implementation of the project will support import-export individuals to pay arising payables quickly and accurately, without the need to have an account at the bank to coordinate the collection, said the representative of the Import-Export Tax Department.
Also, according to a representative of the Import-Export Tax Department, the implementation of electronic tax payment for import and export goods through an intermediary payment service provider will bring benefits not only to people and businesses but also to management agencies, as well as commercial banks and intermediary payment service providers. The parties can save human resources, ensure safety in management, simplify the tax collection and payment process; ensure accurate deduction of tax debt promptly right after the tax is paid; minimize the need to correct wrong payment vouchers. In addition, commercial banks and payment intermediary service providers can improve service quality, attract more potential customers, increase connections with related agencies and units for procedure simplicity and facilitate the development of electronic payments.
Speed up the pilot process
At the end of 2022, the General Department of Customs sent a request to the State Bank, the coordinating collection banks, the provincial and municipal Customs Departments, units, organizations and the business community about registering to participate in the pilot program of payment intermediary services for tax collection and payment.
Accordingly, an intermediary payment service provider needs to meet specific criteria, including being certified by the State Bank as an intermediary payment service provider. The coordinating collection bank undertakes in writing to be responsible for the state budget revenues transferred to the e-customs payment gateway through an intermediary payment service provider.
The coordinating collection bank participating in the pilot process of providing intermediary payment services is the bank that has implemented the 24/7 electronic tax payment program. In addition, organizations providing intermediary payment services also need an information technology system to ensure a connection with the customs electronic payment system.
According to Mr. Tran Bang Toan, Deputy Director of the Import-Export Tax Department, currently in Circular 184/2015/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance stipulates procedures for tax declaration, guarantee, tax collection and payment, and late payment interest, fines, fees, charges and other revenues for import and export goods, in transit and means of export-import, transit transportations have not yet been regulated subjects as an intermediary payment service provider. Therefore, to speed up the pilot implementation of this service, the General Department of Customs is currently developing a draft circular to submit to the Ministry of Finance to supplement the subjects of the application.
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According to the scheme, the Customs authority will implement the pilot program in 2023. Currently, the General Department of Customs is coordinating with parties to review technology, professional processes, network connection, install server and test the technical connection of the system.