What solution is there to prevent "ghost businesses" from tax evasion?

VCN - LTS: After the Customs Magazine published a series of articles "Finding the delayed tax debts of enforced enterprises" on issues 19, 20, 21, the Editorial Office received a lot of angry feedback from readers that reflected the situation of some individuals misusing personal information to establish illegal businesses and evade state taxes. Customs Magazine continues to reflect this pressing issue to readers.
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Mr. Nguyen Tuan Long was upset that his personal information was taken advantage of to establish a business. Photo: T.H
Mr. Nguyen Tuan Long was upset that his personal information was taken advantage of to establish a business. Photo: T.H

Suddenly become a business director

Talking directly with a reporter from Customs Magazine, Mr. Nguyen Tuan Long said that before the Lunar New Year of Giap Thin, he accidentally instructed a friend to look up the tax code using the citizen identification number on the electronic system, he was very surprised to see that he was the director and legal representative of Dai An Phat Commercial Technical Services Co., Ltd. (business code 0318014276, address: 11 Nguyen Huy Tuong, Ward 6, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City).

"I do not know this business, nor did I authorize anyone to establish the business. I confirm that the subjects took my personal information to establish the business" - Mr. Nguyen Tuan Long affirmed. When asked if he had disclosed personal information through any activities, Mr. Tuan recalled: in early 2023, he bought a motorbike, so he made a copy of his original citizen identification card for the service provider to complete car buying procedures. "Maybe a bad person stole this information to set up a business" - Mr. Long was upset.

After discovering that his personal information was stolen to establish a business, Mr. Nguyen Tuan Long reported it to the following units: Binh Thanh District Tax Department, Binh Thanh District Police - where the business is registered and Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Investment.

The reporter contacted the "director" of the business at the phone number published on the national database, but this number was unreachable. The business registration address of the enterprise on the business registration certificate in Binh Thanh district is an office building for rent, there is no enterprise named Dai An Phat Commercial Technical Services Co., Ltd. That operates here.

According to information stored on the national database on business registration managed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Dai An Phat Commercial Technical Services Co., Ltd., business code 0318014276, registered for the first time August 25, 2023; the owner and legal representative of the company is Mr. Nguyen Tuan Long, born in 1980, from Thai Binh. The company's charter capital is 5 billion VND, business lines: finishing textile products, sewing costumes, producing knitted and crocheted costumes; food trade; processing electrostatic painting on the surface of all types of products; mechanical processing, metal treatment and coating; Production of handicrafts for export (rattan, bamboo, weaving, grafting), etc.

Establish an online business

According to the leader of the Business Registration Office - Department of Planning and Investment of Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Nguyen Tuan Long reported that his citizen identification information was stolen and strangers used that personal information to register to establish the Company named Dai An Phat Commercial Technical Services Co., Ltd., and at the same time request to consider revoking the seal and legal documents related to the above company.

The registration dossier to establish Dai An Phat Commercial Technical Services Co., Ltd. is registered online according to the provisions of Article 24 of Decree No. 01/2021/ND-CP dated January 4, 2021 of the Government. Accordingly, the application was submitted through the national business registration portal by the business registration account named Nguyen Tuan Long; The dossier contains the documents according to the above regulations showing the signature of Mr. Nguyen Tuan Long and a copy of the citizen identification card with the name Nguyen Tuan Long (with a true copy and certified copy according to regulations). Accordingly, the business founder uses a business registration account (name: Nguyen Tuan Long, email: tuanlong8019@gmail.com) to register documents via the electronic information network according to regulations.

According to the explanation of the leader of the Business Registration Office - Department of Planning and Investment of Ho Chi Minh City, the application for business establishment registration is in accordance with the provisions in Clause 1 and Clause 3, Article 4 of Decree No. 01/2021/ND-CP. “The business founder or enterprise self-declares the business registration dossier and is responsible before the law for the legality, truthfulness and accuracy of the information declared in the business registration dossier and other documents. The business registration agency is responsible for the validity of the business registration documents and is not responsible for violations of the law by businesses that occur before and after business registration.

In addition, Clause 20, Article 4 of the Law on Enterprises dated June 17, 2020 stipulates: "A valid application is a application with complete documents as prescribed by this Law and the contents of those documents are fully declared according to the provisions of law. "Clause 1, Article 16 of the Law on Enterprises stipulates the following prohibited acts: "Issuing or refusing to issue a Business Registration Certificate, requiring business founders to submit other documents contrary to the provisions of the Law which cause delay, inconvenience, hindrance, and harassment to business founders and business operations of the enterprise.

Regarding registration information for establishing Dai An Phat Commercial Technical Services Co., Ltd., such as: email address, signatures on documents bearing the name Nguyen Tuan Long issued by the Department of Planning and Investment of Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Long confirmed that the above information was completely fake. The subjects who established the business created their own email addresses and forged his signature on the documents specified in the file.

Currently, the Department of Planning and Investment of Ho Chi Minh City has sent a report related to the establishment of Dai An Phat Commercial Technical Services Co., Ltd. to the Police and Tax Department of Binh Thanh District so that these units know how to handle it according to the law.

Recommend fingerprint authentication when establishing a business

In the series of articles "Finding sluggish tax debts of enforced enterprises" published in the Customs Magazine, the case of "ghost" enterprises sluggish tax debts was mentioned. Many readers expressed frustration at the situation of some individuals misusing personal information to establish illegal businesses and tax evasion, licensing agencies need to have solutions to prevent this situation.

In a report dated March 11, 2024 sent to the National Assembly on the situation of preventing and combating smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across borders, the Ministry of Finance stated that in recent times, in order to create conditions and support businesses, in business activities, stimulating and promoting economic growth, the state has many innovations, many new and open policies in business establishment policies, notary and authentication procedures when submitting legal documents of individuals establishing businesses. Because there is no mechanism to check, verify or authenticate the legal representative, information about the owner, information about the address or headquarters of the business, smugglers take advantage of the favorable conditions to commit violations and crimes, and when the Customs authorities detect them, these subjects flee.

Practice shows that in recent times, in many smuggling cases, Customs authorities have discovered that when investigating and verifying, the smugglers have established "ghost" businesses in the form of using identity card and identification citizen card of another person whose identity card is lost, even of a deceased person or who has a fake ID card (in some cases, only the photo is changed, keeping the original number and other information of the ID card) as a legal representative when establishing a business, the address and headquarters of the business cannot be determined, making it difficult to investigate, verify and handle violations. For cases related to "ghost" businesses prosecuted by the Customs, they are often temporarily suspended when they are transferred to the Police for investigation because the subjects cannot be found.

To effectively overcome the situation of "ghost" businesses, the Ministry of Finance said that currently, the national population data information system and developed information technology have allowed fingerprint authentication in solving administrative procedures. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance proposed that the Ministry of Planning and Investment need to apply fingerprint authentication technology when issuing business registration certificates to businesses.

By Le Thu/ Phuong Linh

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