Under the currently applied personal income tax (PIT), known as a kind of tax imposed on high income earners, workers with the monthly income of 4 million dong have to pay tax. The taxation threshold would be raised to 6 million dong by 2014.
Bach Thi Tuyet, an officer of a well-known media firm in Hanoi, usually feels unhappy when she receives monthly salary. It’s because she has to pay 335,000 dong in PIT.
Tuyet is a key officer of the firm with the four year experience of working in the field; therefore, her salary is relatively high – 10 million dong a month. However, she cannot pocket the whole sum of 10 million dong, because she has to pay 900,000 dong a month for insurance premiums and 335,000 dong in PIT.
Under the current PIT law, the family rebate is 4 million dong for every tax payer and 1.6 million dong for every dependent member. This means that Tuyet’s taxable income is 5.852 million dong and the tax sum she has to pay is 335,000 dong.
Tuyet said that she does not expect the pay rise, because if the salary increases, the PIT sum she has to pay would be higher.
If she can get the pay rise of 2 million dong a month by 2014 as expected, the threshold for PIT taxation would also be raised by 2 million dong to 6 million dong by that time. Meanwhile, her expenses would be much higher in the context of the high inflation.
Nga, a researcher of the Natural Science Research Institute, also said that the current taxation threshold of 4 million dong is unreasonable, and it would be unfounded to set up the threshold at 6 million dong for 2014, while the yearly inflation rate is over 10 percent.
Nga earns 5 million dong in total a month, which includes the allowances for the 20-year service length, the responsibility allowance (she is the head of a division) and the lunch allowance. The income of 5 million dong a month is considered “modest” in Vietnam, but she still has to pay 5 percent in PIT for the taxable income of 1 million dong.
“The taxation threshold of 6 million dong a month is too low for now, let alone for 2014, when the CPI increases by tens of percents,” she said, adding that the tuitions for the children and the fuel expenses alone cost more than 3 million dong a month.
Thanh, an officer of the Vietnam Airlines Corporation, a real high income earner with the salary of 17 million dong a month, also thinks that the taxation threshold is unreasonable.
He said that the taxation thresholds set up by the Ministry of Finance do not truly reflect the living standards of people. PIT is considered a kind of tax imposed on high income earners, but in fact, it is taxing low income earners as well, because 4 million dong is just higher than the nominal salary, not higher than the average expenses.
Thanh said that even with the high income of 17 million dong, he cannot be generous. It is estimated that he has to spend 10 million dong a month for the basic needs of the family members. The fuel cost, lunches and mobile phone fees alone cost 1.5 million dong.
Besides, he also has to pay tuitions for the two children’s extra classes, while the tuition for English class alone is nearly 10 million dong. He also has to pay for the medicine for his mother who suffers serious disease.
All those kinds of expenses reach 22-23 million dong a month. Meanwhile, his wife, a state employee, only gets 3 million dong a month.