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Livestreaming under scrutiny to increase tax management efficiency
vietnamnews - 6/24/2024 2:50:42 PM
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Livestreaming is being scrutinised to discover the best methods of increasing tax management to ensure fairness and transparency in the online retail market.
 
With huge revenues, livestreaming on social media platforms and e-commerce platforms has emerged as a robust trend in the commercial marketplace, however managing it remains a challenge.
 
At a question-and-answer session of the National Assembly for Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên earlier this month, delegate Đỗ Trí Nghĩa expressed his concerns.
 
There were livestream sessions with revenues reaching hundreds of billions đồng, Nghĩa said, adding that it was imperative that the process was properly managed.
 
On June 5, the General Department of Taxation sent an official dispatch to ask local tax departments to carry out comprehensive inspections of tax declarations and payments, as well as the use of e-invoices by organisations, individuals and business households operating on e-commerce platforms.
 
The inspections will also cover organisations and individuals participating in affiliate marketing and livestreaming.
 
In another decisive move, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on June 6 signed Official Dispatch No 56/CĐ-TTg to ask for the management of e-commerce and business on digital platforms to be enhanced. The PM told the Ministry of Finance to increase inspections on livestreams and strictly handle any violations.
 
At a conference on tax management on e-commere, the PM asked the Ministry of Finance to submit to the Government amendments to regulations on e-invoices for e-commerce and livestream transactions, stressing that there are still losses in tax collections from livestream and e-commerce.
 
Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyễn Đức Chi, speaking at the Government’s meeting on June 1, said that people making revenue from livestreaming must declare and pay personal income tax. Business households must also pay taxes following the established regulations.
 
Potential market needs proper management
 
In China, the world’s top livestream market, the sector's size nearly tripled in the 2019-20 period, according to reports of Statista. China’s video streaming market was estimated at US$695 billion in 2023, contributing significantly to the $2.2 trillion e-commerce revenue.
 
Research by e-Marketer showed that Southeast Asia is a robust livestream market with an annual growth rate of 33 per cent. TechCrunch forecast the global livestream market to reach $55 billion in 2026, demonstrating that if Việt Nam has proper policies, there will be significant opportunities to promote the development of livestream industry.
 
Findings by Statista showed that Việt Nam’s e-commerce industry might expand at 29 per cent to reach $39 billion in 2025.
 
There are on average 2.5 million livestream sessions each month in Việt Nam featuring more than 50,000 sellers.
 
Vietnamese consumers also tended to shop on livestream with each spending up to 13 hours each week in livestream shopping.
 
According to market data research company NielsenIQ, 95 per cent of customers shopping online made purchases via livestream in the first quarter of 2024.
 
In May, a mega live event on TikTok by a couple attracted significant notice with a revenue hitting VNĐ100 billion after 17 hours. In early June, the couple set the target of VNĐ150 billion in revenue for a livestream session but reached only VNĐ80 billion after 40 hours.
 
The Ministry of Industry and Trade forecast e-commerce revenue in Việt Nam will reach $30.5 billion in 2025.
 
There have been no specific statistics for revenues from livestreaming, but McKinsey&Company said that livestreams could make up for up to 20 per cent of e-commerce revenue by early 2026.
 
The livestreaming market has potential and will continue to develop but it is necessary to develop appropriate management policies to create a fair business environment and harmonise benefits of all relevant parties.
 
Livestream market has huge potential, but it is necessary to develop appropriate management policies to ensure a fair business environment and harmonise the benefits of all relevant parties, experts say.
 
Enhance tax management
 
According to Nguyễn Ngọc Tú from Hà Nội University of Business and Technology, the policies must be raised to ensure tax fairness with detailed regulations for tax declarations and payments to prevent tax losses.
 
Nguyễn Duy Vĩ, director of communication services company Buzi, said that if livestream is considered to be a new sales promotion channel, it would be necessary to have a separate management agency specialising in managing livestream.
 
Punishments must be developed to handle violations and strong enough to prevent further wrongdoings with the focus on ensuring quality of products sold in livestream sessions.
 
With regard to the requirement that e-invoice must be issued for every e-commerce and livestream purchases, Phan Phương Nam from the Law University of HCM City, said that e-invoice would help improve tax management, but it was necessary to provide detailed guidance so that individual live streamers know how to declare and pay tax.
 
In order to ask individual sellers to issue e-invoices, amendments to laws would be necessary in which the legal status of business households and individuals must be clarified, Lê Duy Bình, director of Economica Viêt Nam said.
 
According to Nguyễn Thị Lan Anh, Director of Tax Management of Small and Medium Enterprises, Household Businesses and Individuals under the General Department of Taxation, the tax management on livestreaming has been enhanced to ensure transparency towards a fair business environment.
 
The tax management agencies basically verified revenues of business households and individuals from their online business, she said.
 
The tax watchdog would provide support to business households and individuals with revenues from e-commerce and livestream to declare and pay taxes following the established regulations. — VNS
 
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