HANOI: Officials in Vietnam looking to collect tax from Uber as it exits the country are weighing an option to have domestic banks freeze some payments to the ride-hailing service.
Uber has about 53 billion dong ($2.3 billion) in outstanding tax debt. The law allows tax authorities to intercept customer payments through domestic banks if it deems a company’s tax bill is still due. But in this case, it is more complicated.
Grab, the ride-hailing rival, acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia arm in March, and Uber halted its service in Vietnam April 8. Thus, Grab may have to pick up Uber’s tax tab. Authorities have ordered Grab to submit the acquisition contract so they can assess whether Grab should pay Uber’s back taxes.
This is a strictly Uber matter that does not concern Grab,” a representative of Grab Vietnam told Bloomberg Tax April 16. “Grab did not acquire Uber’s legal entity in Vietnam, which legally would continue to be accountable to resolve its tax issues with the Vietnamese tax authority.”
Uber referred requests for comment from Bloomberg Tax to Grab.