Under the new rules, banks are required to provide customer account information at the request of tax authorities. The important issue is how will the tax authorities keep customer information strictly confidential?
According to Decree 126/2020 / ND-CP detailing a number of articles of the Law on Tax Administration, effective from December 5, commercial banks are responsible for providing information about payment accounts of people. Tax payment opened at the bank to the tax administration agency. This regulation caused a lot of controversy about customer information security.
Responsibility belongs to the tax industry
Decree 126 provides the State Bank (SBV) in coordination with the Ministry of Finance to direct and guide commercial banks, credit institutions and licensed intermediary payment service providers in connecting, to provide information with tax administration agencies relating to via-bank transactions of organizations and individuals; coordinate with tax authorities in implementing tax coercive measures. It is necessary to establish a mechanism to manage and supervise cross-border payment transactions in e-commerce, digital-based business and services different from those of organizations and individuals in Vietnam.
Notably, the Decree stipulates that commercial banks are responsible for providing customer transaction information via their accounts, account balance, transaction data at the request of the head of the tax authority to serve the inspection and examination purposes to determine payable tax obligations; take coercive measures to enforce administrative decisions on tax administration according to regulations. Tax administration agencies are responsible for keeping information confidential and fully responsible for the safety of information in accordance with the Law on Tax Administration and relevant laws.
Commercial banks are also required to withhold, pay on behalf of the tax obligations payable by overseas suppliers who do not have a permanent establishment in Vietnam, and operate on e-commerce or business platforms. numbers with organizations and individuals in Vietnam ... Banks must deduct money for tax payment from taxpayers 'accounts, block taxpayers' accounts, and are forced to execute administrative decisions on tax administration according to the subject. recommendations of tax authorities.
Facing many concerns about the tax industry has the capacity to receive and process data, thereby determining income and tax obligations, as well as the fact that customers do not want their account information to save. To others, a leader of a commercial bank in Ho Chi Minh City said that when the tax authorities asked banks to provide taxpayer accounts, some customers might initially worry that their information was leaked. . However, since the law has defined the tax industry to be responsible for confidentiality, using taxpayer account information only for tax inspection, so it is important how to enforce it. On the other hand, the tax authority can select the taxpayers that need attention and then request the bank to provide them, avoiding mass.
The risk of disclosing personal information will increase
A leader of the Legal Department (SBV) said that the law already has regulations, so when the tax department requests to provide account information, commercial banks must comply. But in fact, due to the personal bank account information and huge amount of data, the tax authorities need to select and request information for each specific group of subjects. If commercial banks provide all customer data, the tax industry will not have enough power to process and keep; from there, information could be leaked to the public, affecting taxpayer privacy matters.
According to lawyer Nguyen Duc Nghia, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Tax Agent Club, because the bank account is related to the cash flow, the tax authority needs to limit the request for information, issue the criteria who is entitled to love. information needs, reception, processing, storage and security. On that basis, the tax authority can select accounts with sudden transactions or suspected tax violations to ask the bank for provision to meet the budget collection task.
For example, the tax authority only requires the bank to provide transaction data of the account holder in order to determine income and tax obligation for budget collection. Particularly for account holder's information, tax officials who are entitled to request, receive, store and keep such information shall be held responsible before the law. How secure is the tax agency's job, so that the account holder's information is secure.
Deputy General Director of a commercial bank commented: “From the perspective of customer information security, it is not necessary to ask for the provision by the tax authorities, but until now, banks must absolutely adhere to the principle. security. However, when providing customer information to a third party, the risk of disclosure will increase, so the tax authorities must also strictly comply with confidentiality requirements.
Deployed with caution
One of the concerns of commercial banks and economists is that customers will switch to cash payments, both in e-commerce, instead of the current cashless payment channels.
Economist, Dr. Huynh Trung Minh analyzed that in many countries, most of customers' cash in and out of money is through the banking system, so the control and request of customers to provide information for tax authorities to trace. collection is simpler. Meanwhile, in our country, cash payment still accounts for a high proportion. If applying regulations that commercial banks have to provide customers' account number, transaction information ... easily raise concerns, avoid and transfer back to cash payments, from there affect the State's policy of encouraging non-cash payments over the past time. "Regulations must be managed to combat tax loss is correct, but this time may not be appropriate, so it should be implemented cautiously" - Dr. Huynh Trung Minh commented.
According to the deputy general manager of a commercial bank, taxpayers are getting used to paying through bank accounts. When banks provide their account information, the taxation industry will capture the cash flow, income source of the account holder to determine income and tax liability. With the progressive provisions of Decree 126 and the interconnection of the tax and banking industry, the important issue is that the tax authority must fulfill its obligation to keep customers' bank account confidential. ensure law enforcement. In doing so, the implementation of the decree will ensure its effectiveness and efficiency.
(Source: Thy Tho - Thai Phuong - Phuong Nhung, Taxpayers are afraid of disclosing personal information, Nguoi Lao Dong Newspaper)