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Gov’t requests e-invoices from livestream sales
Ngoc Mai 15:18, 2024/06/11
Live selling has become highly lucrative in Vietnam, generating substantial income for sellers and hired livestreamers.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has instructed the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to immediately submit proposals for amending regulations on the use of electronic invoices in e-commerce and live selling.

 Livestream sales of OCOP products at Hoan Kiem District. Photo: Dong Hung/The Hanoi Times

This directive was issued at a conference on June 10, which focused on enhancing data connectivity and sharing to boost e-commerce development and improve the efficiency of tax administration.

The Prime Minister highlighted the significant loss of tax revenue, particularly from livestream selling and e-commerce transactions. He tasked the MoF with finalizing and presenting the necessary amendments to Decree 123/2020, which governs the use of electronic invoices for these transactions.

Local authorities are required to allocate resources to the introduction of e-invoicing for consumers. Businesses failing to issue electronic invoices will face stringent penalties, he noted.

Earlier, the Prime Minister instructed the MoF to step up inspections of livestream selling. Any organizations or individuals found to be violating the law by receiving advertising commissions without paying taxes will be referred to the relevant authorities for action.

Live selling has become highly lucrative, generating substantial income for sellers and hired livestreamers. During a National Assembly session on June 4, it was noted that livestream shopping on social media platforms had generated daily revenues of up to hundreds of billions of dong.

The General Department of Taxation reported that some individuals earning tens of billions of dong from livestream sales have voluntarily registered, declared, and paid taxes, with some contributing billions to the state budget.

E-commerce has also experienced significant growth in recent years. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), e-commerce sales are expected to reach US$30.5 billion by 2025, with Vietnam experiencing the fastest e-commerce growth in Southeast Asia.

At the conference, government leaders admitted that policies and regulations for e-commerce have not kept up with current practices or international standards and lack a long-term strategic approach.

The Prime Minister called on the MoIT to review and amend relevant laws and guidelines, particularly the Consumer Protection Law and the E-Commerce Development Strategy. The aim is to ensure sustainable management and growth of domestic and cross-border e-commerce platforms, protect consumer rights, and prevent counterfeit and substandard goods.

In 2023, tax revenue from e-commerce channels reached VND3,500 trillion (US$146 billion), with VND97 trillion ($3.8 billion) in taxes collected, a 14% increase from the previous year. The tax sector audited over 31,000 entities, penalized more than 22,000 cases and collected nearly VND3 trillion ($118 million) in additional taxes from this sector.

The tax authorities are currently managing nearly 123,800 taxpayers in the e-commerce sector, including over 88,100 individuals and 35,100 businesses selling goods through e-commerce platforms. Additionally, over 360 enterprises own these platforms, 24 major companies are advertising online, and 96 foreign suppliers are not physically present in Vietnam.

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