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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

VAT refund delays spell trouble for wood exporters

By N. Tan

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HCMC – Replanted-forest wood exporting businesses are finding it tough to claim VAT refunds, which have reached VND1,000 billion since January this year.

The Association of Vietnam Timber and Forest Product (VIFOREST) has written to the Ministries of Agriculture-Rural Development and Finance, proposing removing obstacles in verifying replanted-forest wood for a VAT refund.

According to VIFOREST, until now, the VAT refunds of replanted-forest wood exporters are stuck.

Under the prevailing regulations, the time limit for VAT refunds does not exceed 40 days upon the tax authorities’ receipt of the valid dossiers filed by the enterprises. However, the VAT amount, which replanted-forest wood exporters have yet to receive, has reached VND1,000 billion.

VAT refund delays have caused some wood exporting enterprises to suspend exports and limit operations. If the situation continues, many wood exporting enterprises will be forced to close their businesses, negatively affecting the replanted-forest wood supply, including millions of forest farmers.

There is a bottleneck in the VAT refund settlement because of the inconsistency of forest products-origin tracing regulations between the General Department of Taxation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The requirement for each locality and forest owner to verify in detail the wood origin made by the above authorities is not practical as there are multiple intermediaries in the supply chain.

VIFOREST, therefore, proposed the ministries maintain consistency in guiding the enterprises to verify wood origin. It also requested the tax authorities to carry out VAT refund settlements for the enterprises at the earliest.

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