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Vietnam legislators delay vote on bill that aims to bail out tax defaulters
By Thanh Nien News -
Vietnamese lawmakers have delayed a vote on a controversial bill which aims to clear back taxes for some state-owned enterprises, local media reported Wednesday.
The Ministry of Finance will revise the bill and submit it again to the National Assembly in March next year, a senior official was quoted as saying in news website VnExpress.
The bill, originally scheduled for being voted on November 25 and taking effect on January 1, would set a number of state companies free from overdue tax obligations. It was expected that a total of VND10 trillion (US$438.58 million) in back taxes would be waived. 
Businesses eligible for the write-off were those which were in the process of selling shares or already allowed to shut down and unable to pay their back taxes, according to the bill.
However, many economists and lawmakers criticized the government's proposal as being "unfair" to private businesses, hundreds of which have been named and shamed into paying back taxes in the past few months.
Confusing tax rules
The bill also sought to reduce luxury tax rates on cars with engines smaller than 2 liters from the current 45 percent to 20-25 percent.
Legislators have warned that lower taxes will lead to a car boom that will then put the country's inadequate traffic infrastructure under strain. 
Automobile importers voiced their concerns about the bill, which sought to double luxury tax on cars with bigger engines from the maximum rate of 60 percent to 150 percent.
The importers also said the bill, which sought to calculate luxury tax on imported cars' retail price, conflicted with a government decree issued last month to tax on importers' price, starting on January 1.
Luxury tax on imported cars is now calculated on their cost, insurance and freight (CIF) price, before duties and markups are added.