Vietnam/Singapore: Heineken claims exemption from USD 40 million tax payment

Heineken has claimed exemption from the sum of VND 917.2 billion (USD 39.7 million) in back taxes and fines for a 2018 transaction. At the end of 2018, Singapore-based Heineken Asia Pacific struck a deal valued at over VND 4.8 trillion (USD207.7 million) with the Heineken Vietnam Brewery under which it transferred its entire stake in its Vietnamese subsidiary. Vietnam’s General Department of Taxation ruled that the company had to pay VND823 billion (USD35.6 million) on the deal because real estate value was over 50 percent of assets involved in the deal.

However, Heineken Asia Pacific claims it was exempt from paying it under the double taxation agreement signed by the governments of Vietnam and Singapore. "Despite making a full payment in line with the tax assessment, Heineken Asia Pacific (Heineken APAC) does not agree with the basis on which it was issued," the company stated Tuesday. The firm has now initiated proceedings to seek clarification over the taxman’s decision.

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