Jo Beth Mertens, assistant professor of economics, was the keynote speaker at the seminar “Tax Administration: Barriers to Investment,” hosted by the Fulbright School in collaboration with the Tax Department of Ho Chi Minh City, on Nov. 7. Participants in the seminar include leaders and experts of the General Department of Taxation in the Ministry of Finance, the Tax Department of Ho Chi Minh City, and the Finance Institute in Ho Chi Minh City. Topics discussed in the seminar included modern points of view on the roles of taxation and the importance of the tax policy that is not only policy design but also policy implementation. Among experiences exchanged among faculty and researchers of the School with tax experts, there were issues of tax transparency, education for officer and taxpayers, and support systems that help to reduce the barrier to investors. Faculty and researchers of the School also studied some advanced tools in tax management, such as the Center for Promotion and Support Taxpayers, the new software to help taxpayers using bar-code technology in tax-filling, and the Web site www.hcmtax.gov.vn facilitating communication between taxpayers and tax authorities. These are applied in the City as the first time in Vietnam.
Mertens is also a public finance expert with experiences from East Europe and many other developing countries.