Online game services are subject to special consumption tax

DNHN - All ages of the population are attracted to the current type of game business, which generates high revenue and profit relative to other business types.


The Ministry of Finance has proposed drafting a revised version of the Special Consumption Tax Law. Consequently, a special consumption tax applies to online gaming services.

The Special Consumption Tax Law (TTDB) No. 27/2008/QH12 went into effect on April 1, 2009, replacing the Special Consumption Tax Law of 1999 and the Law on Amending several Articles of the Consumption Tax Law. Particularly in 2003, the Law amen-amended supplementing several articles of the Law on Special Consumption Tax, and the Value-Added Tax Law in 2005. In 2018, the 2008 Law on Special Consumption Tax has been amended and supplemented four times. 2014, 2016, and 2022 to address inadequacies that arise in practice and dance with each period's tax management requirements.

The implementation of the excise tax policy has revealed nuseveraliciencies and limitations that must be addressed. The current SCT Law must expand the scope of items subject to Mexican se tax to include items with consumption restrictions or production orientation. In addition, the application process is hindered by the obscurity of some current regulations governing taxable objects and tariff schedule items.

According to statistics from the Department of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information, the game industry in Vietnam will be thriving by the end of 2022, with 50 percent of the most popular mobile games coming from Vietnam, five of the top ten game studios in Asia-Pacific and Australia, and one in every twenty-five games downloaded from app stores.

"Vietnam's gaming revenue reached $365 million in 2018, $665 million in 2021, and is projected to be positive in 2022. However, the amount of tax paid to the State accounts for only fifty percent of the total; the remaining fifty percent is paid by individuals. Mr. Le Quang Tu Do, Director of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information, stated at the "Conference to Expand Vietnam Game Industry Market: Reaching Out to the World" on December 10, 2022, that this paradox requires immediate investigation and resolution by the relevant agencies so as not to continue losing tax revenue.

Another advantage of the online gaming market is that it is not restricted geographically. Businesses in Vietnam can produce and sell to the entire world, generating millions of dollars. This is the strength of Vietnam, a country with a small market where making domestic games alone would not generate sufficient revenue to cover expenses. Or at the 31st SEA Games, eSports (Esports) is recognized as a medal-awarding sport.

At the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, held in Vietnam, there are eight e-sports disciplines with ten competitions and ten sets of medals. Participating nations can sign up to take part in the entire event. With four gold medals and three silver medals, Vietnam topped the group.

If tax is collected, the online game industry will significantly contribute to the State budget if Vietnam's potential and advantages are realized, as demonstrated by the data presented above.

In the report summarizing and evaluating the implementation of the Law on Special Consumption Tax (Special Consumption Tax), the Ministry of Finance stated clearly: Online video games (online games) are a type of entertainment associated with the development of the internet, there is the interaction between players and between players and servers of businesses providing online game services through electronic devices such as personal computers, game consoles, mobile phones, and tablets.

The Ministry of Finance has determined, based on the implementation of the SCT Law and the summary report, that the current game business type generates a substantial amount of revenue and profit compared to other business types. To direct consumption, the government must investigate and add this type of business to the scope of excise tax.

The Law on SCT must be amended and supplemented to further institutionalize the views, guidelines, and policies of the Party and State...; to be consistent with the goal of excise tax reform, building a synchronous tax system; to overcome the obstacles and limitations of the current excise tax policy; and to be compatible with the global context of economic integration and development trends.

This number is expected to rise to 4.5 billion by 2030, from the current 3 billion. The gaming industry is nearly $200 billion with double-digit annual growth.

The situation of the game industry will continue to be influenced by the macro economy until the end of 2023. Experts forecast that this industry will flourish once more in 2024, with global revenue possibly reaching nearly USD 190 billion.

Phuong Anh (t/h)

Related news