Vietnam has embraced the global minimum tax (GMT) to harmonize its tax policies with global standards. While this new tax regime is anticipated to have certain adverse effects on foreign direct investment (FDI), the Vietnamese government is devising proactive measures to mitigate these repercussions and maintain the country’s appeal as an investment haven.
Key Ramifications of the GMT for Vietnam
The GMT mandates multinational corporations (MNCs) with consolidated revenue surpassing €750 million to pay a minimum tax rate of 15%, irrespective of the tax rate in the country where they operate. In Vietnam, this translates to the concept of a qualified domestic minimum top-up tax (QDMTT).
The QDMTT places an extra tax burden on foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) that are part of an MNC, potentially deterring them from investing or expanding in Vietnam. This is particularly concerning for industries that heavily rely on tax incentives to attract FDI.
Vietnam’s Response: Investment Support Fund and Proactive Measures
In response to the anticipated negative impacts of the GMT, the Vietnamese government has established an investment support fund (Fund) to incentivize investments in targeted sectors. The Fund is primarily funded by proceeds from the State Budget generated by the GMT.
Eligible enterprises for the Fund are those engaged in high-tech product manufacturing, high-tech enterprises, high-tech application projects, and enterprises with investment projects in research and development centers. Eligibility is based on capital size, annual revenue, industry, or technology utilized.
Eligible taxpayers can receive cash subsidies for five specific expense categories:
- Human resource training and development
- Research and development expenses
- Fixed asset investments
- High-tech manufacturing expenses
- Social infrastructure systems
To qualify for Fund benefits, eligible taxpayers must submit an application dossier to the Fund Office in Hanoi between August 15th and 30th of the year following the incurred Supported Expenses. Each Supported Expense category will have a distinct reimbursement ratio, and support payments will be contingent on the actual expenses incurred by eligible taxpayers.
In addition to the Fund, the Vietnamese government is also implementing proactive measures to address the concerns of foreign investors. These measures include:
- Focusing on targeted industries with high growth potential that align with Vietnam’s strategic development goals
- Utilizing the additional revenue collected from top-up tax to enhance infrastructure and labor quality
- Considering cash grants for long-term qualified investments in high-tech industries
The introduction of the GMT poses challenges for Vietnam in attracting FDI. However, the government’s establishment of the investment support fund and proactive measures demonstrates its commitment to safeguarding the country’s competitiveness as an investment destination. By combining targeted support with infrastructure improvements and incentives for specific industries, Vietnam can mitigate the negative impacts of the GMT and continue to attract foreign investors.