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Pending VAT refunds take toll on wood businesses

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Pending VAT refunds are having a negative impact on wood processing and exporting businesses, according to the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES).

Over VND6,100 billion of value-added tax (VAT) remains unreimbursed, causing financial difficulties for these enterprises. Delays in VAT refunds have led to a lack of capital for production maintenance and the inability to ensure adequate income for workers, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

Among the outstanding VAT refunds, wood chip exporters are awaiting over VND4,000 billion, while plywood and wood pellet exporters have not received VAT refunds amounting to VND500 billion and VND1,600 billion, respectively.

One of the reasons for these delays is the complexity of tracing the origin of wood due to impractical regulations, considering the involvement of multiple intermediaries in the supply chain, according to an enterprise.

In response, VIFORES has requested the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Taxation to review regulatory bottlenecks, aiming to eliminate obstacles for enterprises and facilitate their business operations.

VIFORES has also suggested excluding good products from the list of high-risk goods subject to VAT refund restrictions, particularly replanted-forest wood, which complies with the Forestry Law.

The wood and wood product exports for the first five months of the year reached US$4.7 billion, marking a 30% decrease compared to the same period last year, according to VIFORES.

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