Vietnam tax treaties on double taxation avoidance

In an endeavor to avoid the double taxation of international income and therefore promote foreign direct investment (FDI), Vietnam tax treaties on Double Taxation Avoidance (DTAs) have been concluded with about 65 countries to date, including most major countries. Latest DTA pacts Vietnam concluded are with Estonia, United States, and Kazakhstan. For an exhaustive list of countries, please download the publication Doing Business in Vietnam from http://frankmorganllc.com/insights/doing-business-in-vietnam/.

Domestically, Vietnam has also enacted several regulations guiding the implementation and interpretation of these tax treaties. Most recent and still prevailing regulation is the Circular 205/2013, issued on 24 December 2013 and taking effect from 6 February 2014, replacing Circular 133/2004. Key points of the regulation can be summarized as follows:

  1. Income from service-providing dependents means income in the form of remuneration derived by a person who is a resident at the Country of a Contracting State to an Agreement concluded with Vietnam and vice versa. Income Contracting State to an Agreement concluded with Vietnam excludes income of individuals in the capacity as freelancer, member of corporate’s board of management, artistes and athletes, employees at foreign government agencies in Vietnam as well as pension.
  2. Tax obligation with income from dependent personal services:

Individual who is a resident of a Contracting State to an Agreement concluded with Vietnam shall pay all relevant income tax for all incomes arisen within Vietnam

Individual income shall be exempted from Vietnam personal income tax only if :

  • That individual is present in Vietnam for less than 183 days in a period of 12 months starting or ending within the taxable year; and
  • The employer is not a resident of Vietnam, regardless that income is directly paid by the employer or through the employer’s representative; and
  • The income is not paid by the legal entity in Vietnam from permanent establishment set up by the employer.

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double taxation avoidance