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Conversion of Corporate Income Tax ("CIT") incentives

From 1 January 2012, companies were no longer entitled to enjoy incentives based on the export criteria, as a result of Vietnam's WTO commitments. Thus, the Ministry of Finance ("MoF") has issued Circular No. 199/2012/TT-BTC ("Circular 199") on 15 November 2012, on the alternative CIT incentives available to these affected companies. Circular No. 199 supplements the earlier issued Decree 122/2011 and applies from the 2012 tax year. It also supersedes previous guidelines issued by the MoF.

In general, the principle remains the same, i.e. that the affected companies can select alternative CIT incentives and may apply them for the remaining period based on either:

(i)   the regulations effective during the period from the enterprise's incorporation until the end of the 2006 tax year; or
(ii)   the regulations effective at 1 January 2012.

Circular No. 199 also provides guidance on the conversion of CIT incentives in some special cases and also provides a number of specific examples.

In order to enjoy an alternative incentive, an enterprise must notify the local tax authority of the alternative CIT incentives (via the prescribed form) by the submission deadline for the 2012 final CIT return. Where an enterprise has already declared/notified alternative CIT incentive which is not in line with Circular No. 199, it is allowed to make an adjustment and submit a revised notification to the local tax authority.

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