Livestreaming gains more scrutiny from Vienam’s tax authorities


The livestream market has huge potential, but it is necessary to develop appropriate management policies to ensure a fair business environment. — Photo vov.vn

HANOI: Livestreaming is being scrutinised to discover the best methods of increasing tax management to ensure fairness and transparency in the online retail market.

With huge revenues, livestreaming on social media and eCommerce platforms has emerged as a robust trend in the commercial marketplace, however managing it remains a challenge.

At a question-and-answer session of the National Assembly for Industry and Trade Minister Nguyen Hong Dien earlier this month, delegate Do Tri Nghia expressed his concerns.

There were livestream sessions with revenues reaching hundreds of billions dong, Nghia said, adding that it was imperative that the process was properly managed.

On June 5, the General Department of Taxation sent an official dispatch to ask local tax departments to carry out comprehensive inspections of tax declarations and payments, as well as the use of eInvoices by organisations, individuals and households operating on eCommerce platforms.

The inspections will also cover organisations and individuals participating in affiliate marketing and live streaming.

In another decisive move, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on June 6 signed an official dispatch to ask for the management of eCommerce and business on digital platforms to be enhanced.

The prime minister told the Finance Ministry to increase inspections on livestreams and strictly handle any violations.

At a conference on tax management on eCommerce, the prime minister asked the Finance Ministry to submit to the government amendments to regulations on eInvoices for eCommerce and livestream transactions, stressing that there are still losses in tax collections from livestreaming and eCommerce.

Deputy Finance Minister Nguyen Duc Chi, speaking at a government meeting on June 1, said that people making revenue from livestreaming must declare and pay personal income tax. Business households must also pay taxes following the established regulations.

In China, the world’s top livestream market, the sector’s size nearly tripled in the 2019-2020 period, according to reports from Statista. China’s video streaming market was estimated at US$695 billion in 2023, contributing significantly to revenue of US$2.2 trillion from eCommerce .

Research by e-Marketer showed that South-East Asia is a robust livestreaming market with an annual growth rate of 33%.

TechCrunch forecasts the global livestream market to reach US$55bil in 2026, demonstrating that if Vietnam has proper policies, there will be significant opportunities to promote the development of the livestreaming industry.

Findings by Statista showed that Vietnam’s eCommerce industry might expand at 29% to reach US$39bil in 2025.

There are on average 2.5 million livestream sessions each month in Vietnam featuring more than 50,000 sellers.

Vietnamese consumers also tended to shop on livestream with each spending up to 13 hours each week on livestream shopping.

According to market data research company NielsenIQ, 95% of customers shopping online made purchases via livestreams in the first quarter of 2024.

In May, a mega live event on TikTok by a couple attracted significant notice with revenue hitting 100 billion dong after 17 hours. In early June, the couple set the target of 150 billion dong in revenue for a livestream session but reached only 80 billion dong after 40 hours.

The Industry and Trade Ministry forecast eCommerce revenue in Vietnam will reach US$30.5bil in 2025.

There have been no specific statistics for revenues from livestreaming, but consutltants McKinsey&Co said that livestreams could make up for up to 20% of eCommerce revenue by early 2026.

The livestreaming market has potential and will continue to develop but it is necessary to develop appropriate management policies to create a fair business environment and harmonise benefits of all parties.

Livestream market has huge potential, but it is necessary to develop appropriate management policies to ensure a fair business environment and harmonise the benefits of all relevant parties, experts say.

According to Nguyen Ngoc Tu from the Hanoi University of Business and Technology, policies must be raised to ensure tax fairness with detailed regulations for tax declarations and payments to prevent tax losses.

Nguyen Duy Vi, director of communication services company Buzi, said that if livestream is considered to be a new sales promotion channel, it would be necessary to have a separate management agency specialising in managing livestreaming.

Punishments must be developed to handle violations and have to be strong enough to prevent further wrongdoings with the focus on ensuring the quality of products sold in livestream sessions. — Viet Nam News/ANN

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