Circular No. 53/2016/TT-BTC (“Circular No. 53”) dated 21 March 2016 amends and supplements some of the articles in Circular No. 200/2014/TT-BTC (“Circular No. 200”) dated 22 December 2014 on corporate accounting system.

Highlights are as follows:

Circular No. 53 amends and supplements the point 1.3 of Article 69 in Circular No. 200 on determination of foreign exchange rate

When determining the actual exchange rate to record foreign currency transactions during the period where the contract does not specify the payment rate, the enterprise is given an option to use the rate which approximates the average of selling and buying rates of the commercial bank where the enterprise has regular transactions, instead of using the actual exchange rate defined in Circular No. 200 with the following requirements.

  • It must be ensured that the difference between the approximate exchange rate and the average of buying and selling exchange rates (average rate) does not exceed +/-1% of the average rate. The average rate is determined daily, weekly or monthly based on the average between the daily buying rate and selling rate of the commercial bank.
  • The use of approximate exchange rate must not have any major effects on the financial situation and the result of business and production during the accounting period.

Where the enterprise uses the approximate exchange rate mentioned above to record foreign currency transactions during the period, the enterprise must re-evaluate balances denominated in foreign currencies at the end of the accounting period by using the transfer exchange rate of the commercial bank where the enterprise has regular transactions. This transfer exchange rate is defined as the buying or selling exchange rate or the average of selling and buying rates of the commercial bank per Circular No. 53.

Circular No. 53 amends and supplements Article 120 of Circular No. 200 on translation requirements of documents written in foreign languages

–     It is a general rule that accounting documents written in foreign languages, when being used to record transactions into the accounting book in Vietnam, must be translated into Vietnamese language. When the documents are seldom generated or generated many times but with a different content, all contents of these documents must be translated every time. However, for the documents which are generated many times with the same content, only the first copy is required to be translated for all contents. From the second copy and onwards, only essential contents need to be translated, such as the name of the document, the name of preparer including the company name, the name of receiver including the company name and the title of document signers. The translator must sign, specify his/her full name and take responsibility for the contents translated into Vietnamese. The copy of translated document must be attached to the original copy in foreign language.

–     Circular No. 53 further states that the documents that are merely attached to the accounting documents are not required to be translated into Vietnamese unless specifically requested by the competent state authority. Such documents include contracts, supporting dossiers for payment, dossier of investment project, and finalization reports of investment projects.

This Circular takes effect from its signing date and is applied for the financial year starting on or after 1 January 2016. The enterprises may choose to apply the exchange rate specified in Article 1 of this Circular for the financial statements of 2015.


The State Bank of Vietnam issued Circular No. 03/2016/TT-NHNN (“Circular No. 03”) dated 26 February 2016 providing guidance on foreign exchange administration.

Notable points are as followings:

  • Circular No. 03 abolished the registration requirement of conventional loans made in the form of deferred payment for import of goods. Such conventional loans no longer need to be reported to the State Bank of Vietnam. However, the opening and use of bank accounts and remittance out of Vietnam for such arrangements still need to comply with the requirements of Circular No. 3.
  • Enterprise are allowed to submit loan registration and quarterly reports by either on-line or conventional method (hard copy). Circular No.03 specifies those procedures in detail. Hard copies can be submitted directly to State Bank of Vietnam in person or via postage. For online filing, enterprise should access or
  • For registration of foreign loans, Circular No. 03 requires additional documents besides the ones required by Circular No. 25/2014/TT-NHNN. For example, for renewed short-term loans which have more than 01 year of maturity term in total, the enterprise is required to submit an additional report stating that the use of short-term loans prior to renewal met the eligibility requirements of short-term foreign borrowing. In addition, Circular No. 03 requires the enterprise to submit repayment plan and such plan needs to be approved by the State Bank. Besides, as previously regulated by Circular No. 25/2014/TT-NHNN, the extended loan with a total duration of more than 1 year still need to be registered at the State Bank.
  • If the plan for fund withdrawal, debt repayment and actual remittance fee is changed and such change is within 10 days as against the schedule previously approved by the State Bank, the borrower shall be responsible for notifying in writing the account service provider to carry out fund withdrawal and debt repayment according to the changed plan. By doing so, registration for changes of such loan with the State Bank is not required. However, if the change is more than 10 days from the scheduled date previously approved by the State Bank, the registration of such changes with the State Bank is required.
  • The circular also provides details on required information for preparing statistical reports on enterprises’ foreign borrowing and repayment of foreign loans which are not guaranteed by the Government.

Circular No. 03 becomes effective as of 15 April 2016, replacing Circular No. 09/2004/TT-NHNN and Circular No. 25/2014/TT-NHNN.


Official letter No. 1166/TCT-TNCN dated 21 March 2016 provides guidance on personal income tax (PIT) on travel expenses and telephone fees

According to this official letter,

  • When payments for business trip expenses are treated as deductible expenses for corporate income tax (CIT) in accordance with Law No.14/2008/QH12 (Law on CIT) and relevant regulations, these payments shall be treated as benefits not subject to PIT. Business trip expenses include air tickets, accommodation expenses, taxi fares and meal expenses during business trips.
  • When conditions and threshold amount the employees are entitled to use telephone for personal use are specified in one of the following documents (a) labor contract, (b) collective labor agreement, (c) financial regulation of the company or (d) regulation on reward authorized and issued by Chairman, General Director or Director in accordance with the financial regulation of the company, expenses relating to the personal use of telephone shall be treated as deductible expenses for CIT up to the specified threshold in the document. The payments shall be treated as benefits not subject to PIT.

When the payment for expenses relating to personal use of telephone is higher than the specified threshold defined in one of the above listed documents, the difference between the actual payments made by the company and the threshold shall be treated as taxable benefit for PIT calculation.