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Govt May Revoke 34 Business Licences

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) may cancel 34 business licences this month after the companies failed to declare tax payments to the ministry after they were warned in June last year.

“Earlier this month, we submitted a report to the minister about the need to revoke these 34 licences,” said Mr Khamhack Vivanxay of the ministry’s Revenue Collection Management Division, under the Tax Department.

“We are now waiting for a recommendation or comment from the minister,” Mr Khamhack said on Wednesday.

“They are mostly mining and construction companies, both local and foreign owned. If they do not declare their tax payment, they should come and inform us of the reasons or let us know whether their business is having problems.”

“However, they have just kept quiet since the announcement,” he added.

The ministry had ordered 66 enterprises and companies to declare tax payments by July 31 last year, warning that if they failed to do so they could have their business licences revoked.

“Since the warning, only 12 companies have come forward with a declaration and report and have asked to continue their business operations,” Mr Khamhack said.

“After that we made a proposal to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (where the licences were issued) to help with warning the remaining 54 companies via the media. However, there has been no further contact from the companies.”

The 54 businesses include the 34 that will soon have their licences revoked.

Mr Khamhack said the other 20 companies will conform to the ministry’s demands later because they fall under the responsibility of the Vientiane Industry and Commerce Department.

The department is waiting for confirmation of payment or information from the companies after the announcement was published in local newspapers recently. The warning became necessary because the companies had not declared tax payments with the ministry on a regular basis within the appropriate time in accordance with the relevant regulations and laws.

According to the Tax Department, it will issue notices ordering businesses that fail to follow these instructions to cease business operations permanently.

“This means the department will remove these companies from the list of enterprises governed by the department,” Mr Khamhack said.

Under Article 38 of the amended Tax Law, an enterprise is required to pay profit tax to the finance ministry every quarter in April, July, October and March.

According to the department, there are currently more than 500 enterprises under the management of the Tax Department.

These businesses have generated significant revenue for the state budget, but many of them have been reported as having avoided paying taxes.

Source: Vientiane Times