Vietnam: Transfer of right to use trademark, subject to VAT

Vietnam: Transfer of right to use trademark

Guidance (an “official letter”) from Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance advises that when a foreign party allows another party to use a trademark for purposes of selling the trademarked goods, the activity is considered to be the transfer of a right to use a trademark, distinguishable from the transfer of intellectual property, and this trademark transfer is subject to value added tax (VAT).

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Foreign invested enterprises in Vietnam typically enter into agreements with other foreign companies to use a trademark related to their goods and to pay remuneration for this arrangement. The income realized by the foreign company is subject to Vietnam’s foreign contractor tax. However, there has been a question as to whether the foreign contractor tax on the income consists of corporate income tax only or whether it also includes VAT and if it does include VAT, what is the applicable rate of VAT. The official letter provides clarification that VAT is to be included in the foreign contractor tax. 

For these purposes, the foreign contractor tax consists of both the corporate income tax and VAT, and the rate of VAT to be applied is 10% under the credit method or a VAT rate of 5% under the deemed method.


Read a September 2016 report [PDF 152 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Vietnam

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