Tax Obligations of Representative Offices in Vietnam

Foreign entities have found Vietnam as an increasing attractive destination for investment.  They could consider entering Vietnam in various forms, including setting up representative offices.

“A representative office is a dependent unit of the enterprise, having the task of representing under authorization the interests of the enterprise and protecting such interests” (Clause 2 of article 45, Law on Enterprises 2014). “Representative office shall perform the functions of liaison offices, market surveys, promotion of business opportunities for traders they represent, excluding those in which the establishment of representative offices in that field, it is stipulated in specialized legal documents” (Article 30 – Decree No.07/2016/ND-CP decree detailed regulations on establishment of representative offices or branches of foreign traders in Vietnam under Laws on Commerce).

A representative office is a dependent unit of a foreign enterprise in Vietnam, and it acts under the authorization of foreign enterprises. Representative office shall not conduct business activities therefore, the tax obligations of the representative office are limited, such as:

Firstly, as representative office does not involve profit making activity, hence there are no Value Added Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Annual Due incurred.

Secondly, representative office has to register its tax code, to deduct and pay Personal Income Tax on behalf of its employees working in the representative office or deduct and pay contractor taxes for foreign sub-contractors (if any).

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