The Vietnamese government recently issued official notes to clarify administration penalties. Companies and entities operating in the country should be aware of the penalties, and work with a local partner to help ensure compliance.

Decree No. 41/2018/ND-CP, dated 12 March 2018 and replacing Decree No. 105/2013/ND-CP, regulates administration penalties given for accounting issues and fraud. It sets a maximum penalty of VND100 million for organisations and takes effect on 1 May 2018.

Vietnam sets strict requirements for the format of the accounting vouchers, books, charts of accounts, financial statements and company governance, and this decree shows even a minor transgression could result in significant financial penalties, as detailed below.

Accounting vouchers

Issues with the format and content of your accounting vouchers could result in the following penalties:

  • VND 3-5 million for accounting vouchers not having the required information, or for using a signature stamp
  • VND 5-10 million for signing accounting vouchers which do not have sufficient information or power of attorney, that have inconsistent signatures, or that are not translated into the Vietnamese language
  • VND 10-20 million for non-compliance with regulations in wording, numbers, monetary units, and the accounting period
  • VND 20-30 million for not preparing accounting vouchers when transactions occur; for duplicate accounting vouchers for one transaction; or for payment without sufficient signatures of the authorisors on payment vouchers.

Accounting books

Issues with the format and content of your accounting books could result in the following penalties:

  • VND 1-2 million for accounting books that don't state the company name, or which are not signed by the person who prepared them. The books must also have page numbers, an overlap stamp, and other contents regulated by Vietnamese law
  • VND 5-10 million for accounting books without accounting vouchers, or those that do not tally with the supplied accounting vouchers.

Chart of accounts

Those who use incorrect chart of accounts which was registered with Ministry of Finance will face penalties of VND 5-10 million.

Financial statements

Those who submit financial statements late, or who don't have consistent data in their statements, face the following penalties:

  • VND 5-10 million for submitting financial statements to authorities up to three months late
  • VND 10-20 million for submitting financial statements to authorities more than three months late
  • VND 20-30 million if financial statements have inconsistent data in one accounting period, or if data in the financial statements does not tally with the company's accounting books and vouchers
  • VND 40-50 million for failing to submit the financial statements to authorities.


Those who do not appoint a chief accountant or person in charge of accounting could face the following penalties:

  • VND 5-10 million for failure to appoint or for failure to notify the authorities when there is a change in chief accountant / person in charge of accounting
  • VND 20-30 million for appointing a chief accountant that does not meet legal requirements.

Vietnam is one of the most complex country in Asia Pacific for Accounting and Tax compliance, according to TMF Group's Financial Complexity Index 2018; it's best to work with a local partner who is on the ground and up-to-date. Get in touch with our experts at TMF Vietnam for details on how we can help you navigate the complexity.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.