Celebrities in HCMC file meager taxes

Minh Tam

Le Thi Thu Huong, deputy director of the tax agency, told the Daily that a well-known female singer paid a modest sum of VND375,000 in tax last year. In 2011, she declared a tax sum of VND8 million.

These figures do not make sense as this singer asks for a high rate of remuneration, at thousands of U.S. dollars for each show, not to mention advertising contracts worth billions of dong, Huong said.

The organizer of a new supermarket logo introduction ceremony in the city once told the Daily that they had to pay US$3,000, or around VND65 million, for her performing two songs in less than 10 minutes at this event.

Meanwhile, many artists have not come to tax offices to file their personal income tax for 2012, with many of them declaring low tax sums or failing to pay taxes for 2011 at all.

A male singer, who is seen as the “King of Pop” by local media, has filed a personal income tax of VND374 million in 2012, lower than the previous year’s figure of VND521 million.

However, he has yet to pay tax for 2012 and has settled only VND312 million out of VND521 million filed in 2011.

In the celebrity list managed by the tax agency, Elvis Phuong has been the only one to file his tax on time and make as proper tax payments as required since 2009.

According to reports of tax offices, local celebrities have to pay over VND1.2 billion in personal income tax for 2012. Since 2009, they have to pay VND6.6 billion but up to now only VND3.6 billion has been settled. Meanwhile, tax offices will have to rebate VND1.26 billion to these artists.

Huong said the tax agency has yet to have enough data to make clear whether these artists have evaded taxes.

However, to ensure equality among tax payers, the agency has taken measures to detect and take sanctions against any one who violates tax obligations, Huong said.