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One-Third of Vietnamese Companies Bribe Tax Officials: Survey

Greasing the bureaucratic wheels is a well known fact of life for businesses in Vietnam. This hypothesis was backed up by a recent survey that found nearly one third companies operating in the country pay “unofficial fees” to tax officials.

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The survey, the first of its kind conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), included responses from 2,500 companies over the last year, reports Thanh Nien.

Despite efforts by the government to streamline and add transparency to the tax process, half of the surveyed businesses said they’re still running into problems, especially pertaining to tax registration and tax declaration.

“Tax officials usually demanded different unnecessary papers and dragged cases out for a long time,” VCCI wrote in its report which found 32% of companies in Vietnam had to pay “unofficial fees” and 40% believed that a their businesses would suffer if they didn't provide under-the-table money.

Foreign-invested firms reported paying most often at a 40% clip while only 19% of state-owned enterprises said they had to dole out cash to make the process smoother.

According to economists, such bribes would be avoidable if more of the tax process was moved online, eliminating the need for businesses to meet tax officials face-to-face.

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