Vietnam defers income tax payments to help economy

HANOI, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Vietnam has deferred the payment of income tax, including tax due from local and foreign stock investors, for five months until the end of May, postponing an extension of taxation that should have taken effect in January.

A Finance Ministry circular obtained by Reuters on Wednesday said residents and non-residents with income sourced in Vietnam could delay paying income tax between Jan. 1 and May 31.

The National Assembly will discuss the issue at its next session in May and the Finance Ministry said it would decide what to do after that in the light of the parliamentary debate.

Until this year, income tax was paid only by a small group of Vietnamese and foreigners working in the country classified as high-income earners. A new law on income tax, now deferred, was supposed to have taken effect on Jan. 1.

The main Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange index .VNI has lost more than 12 percent so far this year after a fall of 66 percent in 2008. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Alan Raybould)


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