Foreigners are allowed to be employed working in Vietnam; Most of cases they are required to obtain work permits granted by a local labor authority. All employees of a company (both local and foreigner) must be registered at the insurance and tax authorities.
Employees working in enterprises located in Vietnam including foreign invested capital enterprises as well as representative office may be paid salary only in VND for work performed in Vietnam. The minimum monthly wage applied from 1st January 2016 depends on the location of the enterprise as follows:
||Minimum wage applied from 1/10/2011 – 31/12/2012
||VND 3.500.000 per month
||VND 3.100.000 per month
||VND 2.700.000 per month
||VND 2.400.000 per month
While the area I includes districts of big cities, the area IV is regulated as remote and difficulty areas.
The above minimum wage shall be used as basic for negotiation between employee and employer.
Labour legislation (industrial relations/ trade unions)
The Labour Code of Vietnam includes the following provisions:
- Employees can have a trial period of a maximum of two months;
- The maximum working time per week is 48 hours;
- On average, employees may not work more than eight hours’ overtime per week. The maximum overtime that the employee can be ordered to work is 200 hours per annum.
- Minimum annual paid holiday for a normal position is 12 days for people having 12 months working period in the enterprise. Annual paid holiday shall be plus one day more for each 5 years of the people working in the enterprise.
- The notice period of employment termination is a minimum of two months in case of indefinite term labour contract and one month in case of definite term one. Conditions under which an employer may terminate the employment are expressly stipulated in the Labour Code. Employment can be terminated immediately without notice if both the employer and employee agree. Moreover, the employer can terminate the employment immediately if the employee conducts willful crime or seriously breaches his obligations.
- At the termination of the employment, employer has to pay employee an allowance of ½ monthly wage for each year the employee working in the enterprise.
- Collective working agreement should be made and register at the State relevant authority.
Social security and health insurance
The amount of social insurance contribution, to be paid by employers and employees, equals a specified percentage of the monthly basic salary of the employee as follows:
- Social insurance: 26%, in which employees pay 8%; employer pays 18%.
- Health insurance: 4.5%, in which employees pay 1.5%; employer pays 3%.
- Unemployment insurance: 2%, of which employees pay 1%; employer pays 1%
All types of labour contracts must be in writing in Vietnamese or Vietnamese and a foreign language and the subject of work must be described.
The contract of work must include:
- The type of work for which the employee is being hired and its brief characteristics
- The place of work (municipality and organizational part, or other specified place)
- The day that the work begins
- Salary conditions, unless agreed otherwise in the collective agreement.
Types of work contract
- Definite term contract
- Indefinite term contract
- Agreement on temporary/seasonal job
- Agreement on work activities.
The Vietnam tax system applied to enterprises comprises the following taxes:
- Corporate income tax: 20% of profit, (excluding oil exploitation: 32-50%; mine exploitation: 50-70%)
- Personal income tax (collected by employer by deduction from salary)
- Value Added Tax (VAT): 0% - 5% - 10% depend on the type goods/ services
- Import and export duties
- Special Sales Tax (Excise Tax)
Corporate income tax prepayments (CIT)
Corporate income tax prepayments are payable quarterly (if any). Within first 20 days of first month of next quarter, enterprise has to submit quarterly tax report of last quarter to tax body describing the estimation operation result in the quarter. The corporate income tax of 20% of profit shall be paid in the same time with the report submission.
Tax payer: Pursuant to the regulations of Law on Corporate Income Tax, organizations producing and trading goods and services and earning income shall be liable to pay CIT.
CIT rates: The standard CIT rate is 20%. CIT rate applicable to activities of prospecting, exploring and exploiting oil and gas and other rare natural resources is between 32% and 50%, depending on each project or business establishment. Preferential CIT rates of 10% and 20% are applicable for enterprises investing in geographical areas with socio-economic difficulties, economic zones or hi-tech parks or in encouraged investment sectors for a certain period of time. Upon the expiry of the period for enjoyment of preferential rates, the standard CIT rate will be applied.
||Preferential CIT Rates
||Newly set up enterprises under investment projects in geographical areas with socio-economic difficulties
||2 years from generating taxable income
||50% reduction for 4 consecutive years.
||Newly set up enterprises under investment projects in geographical areas with extreme socio-economic difficulties, economic zones or hi-tech parks; newly set up enterprises under investment projects in high technology, scientific research and technological development, building infrastructure works of special importance decided by the Prime Minister, or manufacturing software products
||4 years from generating taxable income
||50% reduction for 9 consecutive years.
||Enterprises operating in education and training, vocational training, health care, culture, sport and environment (socialized sectors )
||All project life
||50% reduction for 5 consecutive years
The duration for application of preferential CIT rates shall be counted from the first year when an enterprise has income.
The tax exemption or reduction duration shall be counted from the first year when an enterprise has taxable income; in case an enterprise has no taxable income for the first three years from the first year when it has income, the tax exemption or reduction duration shall be counted from the fourth year.
Resident/non resident status
Individuals with a permanent residency in Vietnam are considered tax residents of Vietnam. In addition, any individuals residing or physically present in Vietnam for at least 183 days in a calendar year are considered Vietnam tax residents too.
Individuals who spend less than 183 days in a calendar year in Vietnam and who do not have permanent residence in Vietnam, those are treated as tax for non-residents.
Tax payers: The following individuals are subject to personal income tax:
- Residential individuals have an income generating inside and outside Vietnam territory and non-residential individuals have an income generating inside Vietnam territory.
- A residential individual is a person who meets the following conditions:
+ Residing in Vietnam for an aggregate of 183 days or more within a calendar year or within a consecutive 12-month period from the first date of arrival;
+ Having a permanent accommodation in Vietnam, including an accommodation registered for permanent residence or a leasing house to stay in Vietnam in accordance with a fixed-time contract.
Taxable income includes income from production and business activities, salaries, wages, investment capital, capital transfer, real estate transfer, royalties, commercial concession, remunerations, bonuses and allowances.
An amount would be deducted from income before applying to calculate taxable amount. That is: personal living expenses of VND 9.0 million/month; living expenses for each of dependant (children, parents) of VND 3.6 million/month.
Tax rates: Personal Income tax rates levied on income from business, salaries, wage are applied according to the progressive tax rate schedule as follows:
||Annual Average Income
|Monthly Average Income
|PIT Rate (%)
||Over 60 to 120
||Over 5 to 10
||Over 120 to 216
||Over 10 to 18
||Over 216 to 384
||Over 18 to 32
||Over 384 to 624
||Over 32 to 52
||Over 624 to 960
||Over 52 to 80
Note: exchange rate as at December 2016 is US$ 1.00 = VND 22,300
Expatriates or foreign individuals working in Vietnam are allowed to transfer their income abroad after fulfillment of tax obligations to the Sate of Vietnam.
Employment income includes salaries, wages, bonuses, and other compensation of a similar nature and benefits in kind.
While personal income received by non-residents, for work performed in Vietnam territory suffer personal income tax of 20%, those of residents is calculated by progressive tax tariff.
A person stays in Vietnam territory more than 183 days per year, depended on his/her visa, is considered as resident.
Each individual and legal entity has to register to get tax code at the competent tax office within 30 days as of obtaining licence in Vietnam.
Value added tax (VAT)
VAT applies to goods and services used for production, trading and consumption in Vietnam (including goods and services purchased by organizations and individuals from abroad).
When supplying goods and/or services subject to VAT, enterprises must charge VAT on the value of supplied goods or services. In addition, VAT applies to the duty paid value of imported goods. The importer must pay VAT to Customs at the same time of paying import duties.
Applicable VAT rates are 0%, 5%, and 10%, respectively. The 0% rate is applied to exported goods and services, VAT is calculated by adding the taxable price (net of tax) to the applicable VAT rate. With respect to imported goods, VAT is calculated by adding the import price to the import duty and the special sales tax (if applicable).
The VAT system of Vietnam is also characterized by two types of VAT payers: deduction method VAT payers and direct method VAT payers. Most of companies and business organizations are deduction method VAT payers, i.e. the businesses will have to pay the output tax after deducting the input tax. Businesses must report VAT returns monthly to the tax authorities. The tax authorities, in turn, will check the tax return and issue a tax assessment notice to the tax payer. The payable VAT must be paid monthly to the State budget.
The direct method of VAT payment is generally applied to small business households without proper accounting records. For these businesses, VAT is calculated at a deemed rate on gross turnover.
Import and export duties
- Goods imported or exported through Vietnam’s border gates or borders, consisting of goods imported or exported through land or river border gates, seaports, airports, transnational railway stations, international post offices or other places of customs clearance set up under decisions of competent state agencies.
- Goods brought from the domestic market into non-tariff zones or vice versa.
- Goods transited through Vietnam’s border gates or borders in accordance with law.
- Humanitarian aid goods, non-refundable aid goods provided by foreign governments, United Nations organizations, intergovernmental organizations, international organizations, foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foreign economic organizations, or foreigners to Vietnam and vice versa for socio-economic development or other humanitarian purposes under official documents between the two parties approved by competent authorities; humanitarian aid and emergency relief to remedy consequences of wars, natural disasters and epidemics.
- Goods exported from non-tariff zones to foreign countries; goods imported from foreign countries into non-tariff zones for use in non-tariff zones only; goods transported from one non-tariff zone to another.
- Goods being oil and gas volumes paid to the State as royalties upon exportation.
- Duty rates applicable to exports are specified for each item of goods in the Export Tariff.
- Duty rates applicable to imports are specified for each item of goods, consisting of preferential duty rates, special preferential duty rates and standard duty rates:
+ Preferential duty rates are applied to imports originating from countries, groups of countries or territories which offer the most favored nation treatment in their trade relations with Vietnam. Preferential duty rates are specified for each item of goods in the Preferential Import Tariff;
+ Special preferential duty rates are applied to imports originating from countries, groups of countries or territories which offer the most favored nation treatment in their trade relations with Vietnam under the free-trade-area or tariff-alliance regime in order to facilitate border trade, and other cases of special preferential treatment;
+ Standard duty rates are applied to imports originating from countries, groups of countries or territories which do not offer the most favored nation treatment or special import duty preferences to Vietnam;
+ Standard duty rates are equal to 150% of preferential duty rates applicable to the same item of goods specified in the Preferential Import Tariff.
Imports or exports are exempted from import duty or export duty in the following cases:
+ Goods temporarily imported for re-export or temporarily exported for re-import for participation in trade fairs, exhibitions or display; machinery, equipment and professional instruments temporarily imported for re-export or temporarily exported for re-import to perform work within a certain period of time;
+ After the end of trade fairs, exhibitions or displays or after the completion of work according to law, temporarily exported goods must be re-imported into Vietnam and temporarily imported goods must be re-exported;
+ Movable assets brought into or out of Vietnam by Vietnamese or foreign organizations or individuals within the allowable quotas;
+ Imported goods and exported goods of foreign organizations or individuals entitled to diplomatic privileges or immunities in Vietnam;
+ Goods imported for processing for foreign parties are exempted from import duty (including those allowed to be destroyed in Vietnam under laws after liquidation of processing contracts) and processed products exported back to foreign parties are exempt from export duty. Goods exported to foreign countries for processing for Vietnamese parties are exempt from export duty and when processed products are re-imported, they are exempt from import duty on the value of goods exported to foreign countries for processing under contracts;
+ Imported goods and exported goods within the duty-free luggage quotas of persons on entry or exit; postal matters and parcels sent by express delivery services which have the minimum dutiable value prescribed by the Prime Minister;
+ Goods imported to create fixed assets of investment projects in domains entitled to import duty preferences or in geographical areas entitled to import duty incentives, and investment projects funded with official development assistance (ODA) which are exempted from import duty;
+ Plant varieties and animal breeds permitted to be imported for the execution of investment projects in the sectors of agriculture, forestry and fishery;
+ Equipment and devices which are imported for the first time to create fixed assets of projects, investment projects funded with official development assistance (ODA) capital on hotels, office buildings, apartments for lease, housing, trade and technical service centers, department stores, golf courses, tourist resorts, sport facilities, recreation and entertainment centers, medical examination and treatment, training, cultural, financial, banking, insurance, audit, and consultancy service establishments shall be entitled to import duty incentives;
+ Goods imported in service of petroleum activities;
+ Shipbuilding establishments are exempt from export duty on exported seagoing vessels, and from import duty on machinery and equipment imported to create their fixed assets; means of transport included in technological lines imported to create fixed assets; and raw material, supplies and semi-finished products to serve shipbuilding activities, which cannot be domestically produced yet;
+ Raw materials and supplies imported to directly serve the production of software products, which cannot be domestically produced yet, are exempt from import duty;
+ Goods imported for direct use in scientific research and technological development, including machinery, equipment, spare parts, supplies and means of transport which cannot be domestically produced yet; scientific documents, books and newspapers and journals and electronic scientific and technological information sources are exempt from import duty;
+ Raw materials, supplies and accessories which cannot be domestically produced yet and are imported for production activities of investment projects in domains in which investment is specially encouraged under the laws or in geographical areas with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions (excluding projects on manufacture and assembly of automobiles, motorcycles, air conditions, electric heaters, refrigerators, washing machine, electric fans, dish washers, disc players, audio system, electric irons, water kettles, hair dryers, hand dryers and other articles as decided by the Prime Minister) are exempt from import duty for 5 years after the date of commencement of manufacture;
+ Goods produced, processed, re-processed or assembled in non-tariff zones without the use of raw materials and accessories imported from abroad, are exempt from import duty upon their import into the domestic market; in case of using raw materials and accessories imported from abroad, only imported raw materials and supplies constituting these goods are liable to import duty upon their import into the domestic market;
+ Machinery, equipment, and means of transport (excluding under 24-seat cars and cars designed for passenger-cum-cargo transport equivalent to under 24-seat cars) temporarily imported for re-export by foreign contractors for the execution of ODA-funded projects in Vietnam are exempt from import duty upon their temporary import and exempt from export duty upon their re-export;
+ Goods imported for sale at duty-free shops under decisions of the Prime Minister.
Consideration for duty exemption:
Imported or exported goods in the following cases may be considered for duty exemption:
+ Special-used goods imported to directly serve national defense, security, education and training, or scientific research may be considered for import duty exemption;
+ Gifts, presents or sample products given by foreign organizations or individuals to Vietnamese organizations or individuals or vice versa may be considered for duty exemption within allowable quotas.
Consideration for duty reduction:
Imported goods or exported goods which are damaged or lost in the course of customs supervision, which is certified by competent assessment agencies or organizations, may be considered for duty reduction in proportion to their actual loss or damage. Customs offices shall consider duty reduction on the basis of the assessed and certified quantity of lost goods and the actual damage rate of goods.