Introduction

The standard CIT rate for enterprises in Vietnam, whether local or foreign, is 20 percent. However, various incentives and policies exist that can lower this rate for foreign investors and some local businesses. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the framework and mechanisms for applying CIT in Vietnam, with a focus on small business owners.

Key Points about CIT in Vietnam

  • CIT is a direct tax imposed on the profits earned by companies or organizations. It is calculated by deducting expenses from gross revenue.
  • CIT payments are made quarterly, and enterprises are required to make provisional payments within 30 days of the previous quarter, based on estimated business outcomes from previous years.
  • If the total amount paid accounts for less than 80 percent of the finalization amount at the time of final tax payment, the shortfall exceeding 20 percent is subject to late payment interest.

Types of Enterprises Subject to CIT

CIT in Vietnam applies to various types of enterprises, including local and foreign businesses established under Vietnam’s laws. These encompass joint-stock companies, limited liability companies, partnerships, and business cooperation contracts. Enterprises established under foreign laws may also be subject to CIT if they have a Vietnam-based permanent establishment.

Corporate Income Tax Rates

The standard CIT rate for both local and foreign enterprises is 20 percent. However, there are exceptions to this rate. Companies involved in petroleum and gas exploration and exploitation are subject to rates ranging from 32 to 50 percent. Similarly, companies engaged in rare mineral exploration and exploitation face rates of 40 or 50 percent. Additional CIT rates exist for specific types of mineral reserves.

CIT Rates for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam, defined as companies with an annual turnover not exceeding VND 20 billion (US$860,000), enjoy a reduced CIT rate of 20 percent.

Tax Incentives and Exemptions

Vietnam offers various tax incentives and exemptions that can benefit businesses. Foreign-invested and local companies may qualify for tax holidays, reduced rates, or even a CIT rate as low as 10 percent in specific situations. Certain incomes, such as those derived from scientific research and technological development contracts, may also be exempt from CIT.

Determining Taxable Corporate Income

Taxable income in Vietnam includes revenue from production, trade of goods, provision of services, as well as other sources such as capital transfer, real estate transfer, interest on deposits, and more. Income from real estate transfer must be separately accounted for when declaring and paying CIT.

Carrying Over Net Losses

Business establishments that do not generate profits within the fiscal year are allowed to carry forward losses for up to five years to offset future taxable incomes. However, losses cannot be carried backward to previous tax years.

Jurisdiction of Tax Payments

Enterprises are required to pay CIT in the localities where they are headquartered. For enterprises with production establishments in different localities, the tax amount is calculated and paid in both the headquarters’ locality and the production establishment’s locality.

FAQ: Corporate Income Tax in Vietnam

  1. What is the corporate income tax rate in Vietnam? The standard corporate income tax rate in Vietnam is 20 percent for both local and foreign enterprises. However, there are exceptions and incentives that may lower the tax rate.
  2. Who is subject to corporate income tax in Vietnam? Corporate income tax in Vietnam applies to all business entities in all economic sectors, including professional organizations, foreign corporations with production and trading activities in Vietnam, and others. The types of enterprises subject to CIT are defined by Vietnam’s laws on enterprises, investment, credit institutions, securities, and commercial activities.
  3. How often does an enterprise need to pay CIT? Enterprises in Vietnam are required to pay CIT quarterly. They also need to make provisional CIT payments each quarter based on estimates of their business outcomes from previous years.
  4. What incomes are exempt from corporate income tax in Vietnam? Certain incomes are exempt from corporate income tax in Vietnam. For example, income earned from scientific research and technological development contracts may be exempt. However, it is important to consult the tax regulations and seek professional advice to determine specific exemptions.
  5. Does CIT affect profit repatriation? Corporate income tax in Vietnam may have an impact on profit repatriation. It is essential to consider the tax implications and regulations related to profit repatriation when planning business operations and financial strategies.

In summary, understanding corporate income tax in Vietnam is vital for small business owners. This guide provides valuable insights into the tax rates, exemptions, incentives, and considerations related to profit repatriation. By staying informed about CIT regulations, small business owners can effectively manage their tax obligations and optimize their financial strategies.