The Ministry of Finance issued Circular 99/2016/ND-CP on 29 June to provide guidelines on the management of VAT refunds, including the process of handling VAT refund applications, obligations of tax payers and tax authorities in the process, measures to deal with high tax risk cases, etc (“Circular 99”). • Taxpayers can submit VAT refund applications directly or by post to their local tax authorities. If the local tax authorities implement e-VAT refunds, taxpayers can submit the application via the electronic information gateway of the General Department of Taxation – in this case the GDT and local tax authorities will circulate information on the VAT refund status on the system, and the tax payer will be able to access this. • The required documents for a VAT refund application follow Circular 156/2013/TT-BTC dated 6 November 2013. This publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in the publication, and, to the extent permitted by law, PwC does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty or care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it. • The deadline to issue a VAT refund decision is 6 working days for “refund first, audit later” cases and 40 days for “audit first, refund later” cases, from the submission of a complete VAT refund application. • The local tax authorities shall work with relevant organizations (banks, customs departments, tax authorities managing suppliers of the taxpayer, police departments) to identify high tax risk cases. Additional investigations may be undertaken for such cases. Circular 99 also sets out the role of the General Department of Taxation (“GDT”) in funding VAT refunds and supervising VAT refunds made by local tax authorities. It is expected that the GDT will more closely supervise the VAT refund processes of local tax authorities going forward. Circular 99 will become effective on 13 August, replacing Circular 94/2010/TT-BTC on VAT refunds for export goods, Decision 2404/QD-BTC on VAT audits for "refund first, audit later" VAT refunds, and Circular 150/2013/TT-BTC on management of VAT refund funds. Following Circular 99, the GDT issued official letter 3124/TCT-KK to provincial tax authorities . OL 3124 requests that from the issuance date of OL 3124 (i.e. 12 July 2016) to the effective date of Circular 99 (13 August 2016), the local tax authorities submit VAT refund dossiers applications in the following cases to the GDT for supervision: i. VAT refund applications which are classified as “refund first, audit later" and which must be audited within 1 year from the decision on the VAT refund as regulated under Clause 18, Article 1, Law No. 21/2012/QH13 dated 20 November 2012 and Point b, Clause 14, Article 2, Circular 26/2015/TT-BTC dated 27 February 2015; ii. VAT refund applications which are classified as "audit first, refund later" as regulated under Clause 18, Article 1, Law No. 21/2012 and Point a, Clause 14, Article 2, Circular 26/2015; VAT refund dossiers which are not classified as "audit first, refund later" as regulated under Clause 3, Article 1, Law No. 106/2016/QH13 dated 6 April 2016; iii. VAT refund applications of taxpayers which are in a VAT receivable position for at least a year. From 13 August 2016 onwards, the supervision of VAT refund dossiers shall be in accordance with Circular 99.