According to Phoc, the company had accepted the figure, but requested not to be charged for late payment.
Phoc said the decision for penalty is for the General Department of Taxation to decide, not the State Audit.
However, local media reported that through previous meeting with tax officials, Unilever Vietnam had not accepted the mentioned figure.
The determination of the amount of tax arrears was due to miscalculation of preferential tax rate that applies to Unilever Vietnam for its expansion activities in 2009-2013, and was not related to transfer pricing, said a representative of the General Department of Taxation.
Tran Vu Hoai, the company’s vice president for Sustainable Development and Public Relations, denied information that Unilever Vietnam has deliberately under-declared any tax obligation.
Hoai added that the reason was the inconsistency between the Investment Law and the Corporate Income Tax Law before 2014 in calculating tax dues for expanded investment project in the 2009-2013 period.
Hoai said tax officials and Unilever Vietnam have different interpretations of the concept of new investment project and expanded investment project, leading to different tax incentive rate being applied to the case.
Unilever Vietnam has petitioned the government, the Ministry of Finance and the State Audit to find a satisfactory solution in compliance with Vietnamese law and international regulations. Unilever Vietnam is not the only company that has faced this problem, Hoai said.