Tin Pháp lý
Tons of gold sold abroad, but exporters delay tax payments

7 August 2014
Businesstimes

In a four-year period, from 2008 to 2012, over 4.4 tons of gold were exploited from Bong Mieu and Dak Sa, the two biggest gold mines in Vietnam. However, the state has not received sufficient taxes from the gold exporters.

According to the Quang Nam provincial Taxation Agency, the miner in Bong Mieu and Dak Sa paid VND650 billion in tax to the state after it sold 4.43 tons of gold abroad.

The total tax the miner had to pay for the period from 2004 to July 2014 was VND1.033 trillion.

If deducting the sum of VND105 billion worth of VAT the gold miner would be refunded, and the sum of VN650 billion in tax it has paid, then it still has to pay VND278 billion more in tax.

As the enterprise repeatedly refused to the pay the tax arrears, the Quang Nam provincial tax agency has 11 times decided to impose fines on the miner for its tax payment delays.

Nevertheless, it said that it has fulfilled tax duties and that it doesn’t have to pay more.

Ngo Bon, head of the Quang Nam provincial Tax Agency, said that the agency calculated the tax the miner has to pay, after considering the total gold volume it had sold abroad.

“How much money has it got from selling the 4.430 tons abroad? Why has Bersa Vietnam (the gold miner) deliberately delayed the tax payment?” Ngo Bon asked.

Not only has it refused to pay tax arrears, Bersa Vietnam has closed two factories to put pressure on the local authorities to lift the coercive tax arrears payment.

Le Mai Khac Hung, deputy head of the Quang Nam provincial Taxation Agency, commented that the reason cited by the company to refuse to pay tax is “unreasonable” and “unacceptable”.

“All of the gold the company exploited has been exported. Vietnam has the right to impose natural resource and export taxes on the export volume. There is no reason for the company to complain it does not have money to pay tax if it has sold such a big volume of gold abroad,” Hung said.

Experts say Phuoc Son and Bong Mieu are the two largest gold mines in Vietnam. The former has the exploitation capacity of 1,000 tons of ores per day with the gold collection rate of 92-95 percent, while the figures are 500 tons and 88 percent, respectively, for Bong Mieu.

Therefore, they believe that the total gold output exploited so far is much higher than the declared figure of 4.43 tons.

However, no one knows for sure how much gold exactly has been exploited so far. It is unclear also how much gold was exploited in 2013 and the first six months of 2014.

The question was also raised at the Quang Nam provincial People’s Council’s meeting in late July.

The local authorities sent a dispatch to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment asking to offer information. However, in reply, the ministry said it does not have the information.

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